The two separate and frivolous lawsuits filed last year by the Teamsters, Public Citizen, Sierra Club and Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) have now been consolidated into one lawsuit on orders from a Judge with the D.C. Court of Appeals.
The case numbers for the two actions are 11-1444 for the Teamsters and 11-1251 for OOIDA.
Attorney’s for all plaintiffs will now be required to make their oral arguments before the Court in the same courtroom on the same day.
Back in July of 2011, OOIDA filed their frivolous action against the Cross Border Pilot Program with Mexico asking the court to “enjoin, set-aside, suspend (in whole or in part) or determine the validity of the implementation of (DOT’s cross-border program).” In September of 2011, the Court refused their request for the injunction sought to stop the program, but did agree to put it on the fast track.
Later in September of last year, the Teamsters, along with the shady advocacy group Public Citizen and the tree huggers from Sierra Club filed their own and very similar lawsuit to stop the program with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. That action, with all parties agreeing, was kicked over to the DC Circuit later in 2011, denying Hoffa and his cronies their foray into “judge shopping”.
Those lawsuits voiced the same environmental concerns as are being pressed in the 2011 filings. The trial court in 2002 sided with FMCSA saying
that although the FMCSA pilot program would result in more trucks, FMCSA did not have control over those trucks and therefore did not have to account for them in an EIS. Public Citizen went shopping and appealed to the liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
The Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, reversing the trial court. The Appellate Court found that the EA was deficient because it failed to give adequate consideration to the overall environmental impact from the Mexican trucks. Of course, FMCSA appealed, all the way to the United States Supreme Court.
The case was argued before the Supreme Court on April 21, 2004 with a unanimous verdict being rendered on June 7, 2004.
The US Supreme Court held that the FMCSA had no control of the trucks once the regulations governing the pilot program were passed, and would therefore be unable to act on the findings of an EIS even if it did conduct one.
FMCSA has no statutory authority to impose or enforce emissions controls or to establish environmental requirements unrelated to motor carrier safety.
The Court also found that the passage of the regulations was not sufficiently responsible for the increased pollution caused by the trucks to warrant an EIS.
Justice Clarence Thomas, the Courts most conservative Judge wrote the opinion which you can read here.
Merging these two lawsuits will make it easier and quicker for the sitting judges to toss them as a whole when they are argued before the Court. This will clear the way for more Mexican carriers to apply to the program without having to worry about it being a waste of time and money for them to do so.
35 years in the trucking business and living in Mexico for the past 15 years, make me uniquely qualified to offer my insight and opinion into the Mexican trucking industry and other border issues. A contributor to SiriuxXM Road Dog Channel 106 and to the award winning Lockridge Report, Mexico Trucker Online continues to publish the unvarnished truth about the subjects we cover.