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12/7/2012 12:00:00 PM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Solicitor Supports Court Ruling on L.A. Port Requirements for Carriers

The U.S. Supreme Court should let stand an appeals court decision giving the Port of Los Angeles the right to impose requirements on motor carriers that want to operate at the port, the U.S. Solicitor General said in a legal brief.

In a filing with the high court, the solicitor general argued on the side of American Trucking Associations that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals erroneously held that the Port of Los Angeles had a right to enforce several provisions in its concession agreement with drayage operations, including off-street parking and placard requirements.

However, the nation’s top civil attorney said the high court should deny ATA’s writ of certiorari.

“This case does not warrant further review,” the Solicitor General said. “Although the Ninth Circuit erred in its application [of the law], its decision does not conflict with the decision of any other circuit.”

ATA filed its request for the Supreme Court review on Dec. 22, arguing that the federal preemption clause gives the federal government rather than local or state governments the authority to regulate interstate trucking.

A decision on whether the high court will hear the case is pending.

Last year, ATA claimed victory in its 2008 federal lawsuit when the appeals court rejected the port’s argument that it was essentially a business and should qualify as a “market participant,” thereby allowing it to regulate and enforce environmental requirements on motor carriers.

The appeals court did rule, however, that the port has the right to require drayage operators to submit an off-street parking plan, properly maintain their trucks, post placards on permitted trucks and demonstrate financial capability.

ATA has called the port’s clean trucks requirements “burdensome” for truckers.

By Transport Topics

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