NIT League supports truckers
The National Industrial Transportation League said last week it filed a friend of the court brief in support of the American Trucking Associations effort to overturn a California Federal District Court’s order which denied, in part, an ATA motion for a preliminary injunction against the Southern California ports' truck concession program.
In March the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the lower court, which had denied the ATA’s request for a preliminary injunction and remanded the case back to the District Court.
When it implemented the appellate court ruling, the lower court in April assumed a broad interpretation of the “motor vehicle safety exception,” which permits the ports to keep in place certain aspects of its truck programs. The ATA charged in its latest appeal that the District Court failed to follow the appellate court’s findings that a concession program that claims to fall within the motor vehicle safety exception can only escape federal preemption if it “is intended to be and is, generally responsive to motor vehicle safety.”
NIT League said in its latest amicus brief that the district court erroneously expanded the scope of the motor vehicle safety exception when it extended the authority to matters of port security. It also said the lower court failed to properly follow the safety exception standards and guidance set forth by the appellate court.
“This flawed interpretation and application of the safety exception caused the lower court to find that many of the regulations imposed on port drayage operators via the truck concession agreements escape federal preemption, even though they unlawfully regulate interstate trucking prices, routes and services,” the NIT League explained in the latest issue of its newsletter Notice.
“Unwarranted expansion of authority by the ports creates significant possibilities that other ports across the nation will attempt to regulate interstate trucking services by adopting regulations,” the league said.
However, the NIT League said it “strongly supports the clean air objectives associated with the ports’ Clean Truck Program, including the plan to retire older trucks and replace them with newer, cleaner vehicles.”
The NIT League’s brief is available here.