Supreme Court Agrees to Hear ATA Appeal in L.A. Port Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal from American Trucking Associations in ATA’s lawsuit over what it calls “burdensome” requirements the Port of Los Angeles has put on fleets serving the port, the court said.

A September 2011 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit struck down the port’s ban on owner-operators, but also ruled the port was allowed to require drayage operators to submit off-street parking plans, properly maintain their trucks, post placards on permitted trucks and demonstrate financial responsibility as part of its overall Clean Trucks Plan.

ATA filed an appeal to the Supreme Court in December 2011 to challenge specific parts of the plan, saying they would lead to a patchwork of rules and regulations.

“We are pleased the Supreme Court will review the erroneous decision of the appellate court,” ATA President Bill Graves said in a statement released Monday.

“The port's rules challenged by ATA — which range from a requirement that carriers display port-mandated information on the sides of trucks . . . to a requirement that trucks conform to the port’s off-street parking rules even when not on port property — have nothing to do with improving air quality,” he said.

ATA Deputy Chief Counsel Rich Pianka said it is “extremely rare” that the Supreme Court hears a case.

“We’re excited. We think it’s a big deal,” Pianka said, adding, “We’re pretty confident that we’re going to prevail.”

The nation’s highest court agreed to hear the appeal in an order issued Friday afternoon. It has not scheduled a day to hear oral arguments in the case.