The executive committee of the American Trucking Associations voted unanimously to seek a U.S. Supreme Court review of a recent ruling regarding the Port of Los Angeles' clean-truck program, as the group attempts to block other concessions not rejected by the federal court of appeals.
ATA’s decision on Wednesday to appeal is significant because the three-year-old case involving port requirements for harbor trucking companies is not over, as many had believed. The ATA was pleased the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in late September struck down the program’s employee-driver mandate, but the group wants the Supreme Court to rule other concession requirements as illegal.
Specifically, ATA is seeking to overturn the requirement that allows Los Angeles to compel drayage companies to submit for port review information on a motor carrier’s financial stability and its maintenance and off-street parking procedures.
ATA indicated that the 9th Circuit is allowing those requirements to remain in effect based on the theory that the port is a market participant. Curtis Whalen, executive director of ATA’s intermodal conference, said that allowing the market participation ruling to stand “would serve as a bad precedent for diminishing the federal routes, rates and services provision” of federal law.
The employee-driver mandate was the most controversial element of the plan because it would have opened the door to unionization of harbor truck drivers, most of whom are independent contractors. Unions are legally prohibited from organizing independent contractors.
However, upon losing on that provision, the port and city stated they will not appeal the 9th Circuit’s ruling because it allows the other concession requirements to remain in effect.