In opening remarks at a Capitol Hill policy forum on Tuesday hosted by Free Press, Senator Al Franken (D-MN), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on privacy, technology and the law, proclaimed that net neutrality “is absolutely the First Amendment issue of our time.” Franken was introduced by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian who described himself and his website as “living proof of what the open and free Internet can provide.” Addressing Republican and other members of Congress who contend that the Internet has succeeded and has fostered innovation and economic growth without the net neutrality rules the FCC seeks to adopt, Franken stressed that “all this innovation hasn’t happened just while we’ve had net neutrality—it’s happened because we have net neutrality.” Franken further argued that net neutrality has been woven into “the architecture of the Internet from the beginning” and lamented that “some of my colleagues in Congress don’t understand that.” Meanwhile, with respect to the FCC’s most recent proposal to craft open Internet rules that satisfy the concerns of the D.C. Circuit Court, Barbara van Schewick, the director of the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, hinted that the best way for the FCC to enact net neutrality regulations is to reclassify broadband as a Title II telecommunications service. Warning, “if you proceed under Section 706, and you want to be upheld in court, your rules will be toothless,” Schewick maintained: “the only way for the FCC to convince the court that it is not applying common carrier-type rules [under Section 706] is to reach a different result.” Schewick also highlighted the potential ripple effects of paid prioritization and Internet “fast lanes” within a broadband market that lacks effective net neutrality rules, cautioning that, if e-commerce websites load slowly, “consumers will leave” to the detriment of sales and economic progress.