But one order today in particular was significant: The justices declined to review a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upholding the Obama administration's "net neutrality" rules, which (generally speaking) required internet service providers to treat all traffic on the internet equally.
The Trump administration and the telecom industry had wanted to erase the 2016 ruling even though the Republican-led Federal Communications Commission in December voted to repeal the net neutrality rules.
In September 2017, the government announced plans to phase out the program, but lower court judges blocked the administration from doing so and ordered that renewals of protections for recipients continue until the appeals are resolved.
In this October 9, 2018 photo, police office guards the main entrance to the Supreme Court in Washington. But there were not enough justices for a majority, after Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh recused themselves. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch indicated that they would have opted for Munsingwear vacatur, which would have left the D.C. Circuit's ruling without any precedential value.
It takes four of the nine justices to agree to hear a case.
Beer enthusiast Kavanaugh was on the DC Court of Appeals that decided the case and back then he dissented and argued that the requirement to not block content violated ISPs' First Amendment rights - and so recused himself from the Supreme Court decision.
That's important because it give an indication of how the conservative side of the court will vote when the issue of net neutrality does eventually make its way to the country's highest court. The Supreme Court's rejection of this appeal ensures the D.C. Circuit's decision remains in the record as binding precedent for the FCC's authority to adopt strong net neutrality rules. They have not been in effect since June.
The legal moves reflected a desire by conservatives and industry players to cement the FCC's repeal of net neutrality rules, which were created to restrict Internet service providers' ability to manipulate loading speeds for specific websites or apps.
The administration's attempt to end the program previous year was rejected by multiple federal courts and the Department of Homeland Security was ordered to continue accepting renewal applications while the case is adjudicated. After the repeal was finalized earlier this year, the FCC and the Department of Justice asked the Supreme Court to declare the prior decision "moot" and scrap it. "Let's call this interesting".