Hanks said there was no evidence to prove harm.
On Friday, United States District Judge George Hanks in Galveston denied a request for an injunction that would have stopped the United States from allowing its contract with ICANN for IANA functions to expire.
The request was made in a lawsuit filed by four conservative U.S. states as a last-ditch effort to force the U.S. government to extend its IANA contract with ICANN.
Following Hanks’ denial, the contract expired at midnight Saturday morning, removing the United States’ largely clerical role in managing of the IANA functions.
The court has now released the full order (pdf) explaining why it denied the injunction. Here’s the meat of it:
The Court bases these findings on the following: the States have not produced evidence
sufficient to carry their heavy burden on these elements. Instead, they provide only the
statements and averments of counsel—and hearsay from third parties—to speculate about the
future results of possible changes and events in a complex phenomenon, and the role and
influence of NTIA over this phenomenon. This is not enough to carry their heavy burden here.
In other words, counsel’s statements of what “might” or “could” happen are insufficient
to support the extraordinary relief sought in this case. Even if the Court were to find that some
past harm or bad acts by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”)
impacted the interests of the States in their respective websites and alleged rights at interest, the
Court notes that these past harms happened under the exact regulatory and oversight scheme that
the States now seek to preserve. This, along with the lack of evidence regarding any predictable
or substantially likely events, greatly undermines the States’ request for they relief they seek.