OOIDA Petitions United State Supreme Court to rule on Mexican Truck Program

OOIDA President Jim Johnston
It is unfortunate that the agenda of bigotry and prejudice of one insignificant little man against Mexican trucks has the potential to devastate the trucking industry in three countries. (Photo- Today’s Trucking)

Not content to accept the rulings of the D.C. Court of Appeals which recently rejected arguments  by the Teamsters, OOIDA and their allies to put the brakes on the Cross Border Pilot Program with Mexico, the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association now turns to the United States Supreme Court in their latest attempt. If history is any indication, this effort will end in failure also.

On October 24, OOIDA filed a Petition For Writ Of Certiorari with the Supreme Court challenging the ruling of the lower court which found that the arguments presented by OOIDA and their allies were not persuasive and basically, without foundation.  These arguments were rejected first by a three judge panel of the appellate court and later, OOIDA’s request for a hearing by the full court, known as an en banc hearing was also rejected.

Each term, thousands of requests for a  Writ Of Certiorari are filed before the Court, however only about 100 are granted. It’s anybodies guess as to whether the Court will choose to grant this petition.

Several things are interesting about OOIDA’s latest effort to stop the successful pilot program which is proving that Mexican carriers and their drivers are capable of operating safely and in compliance with US laws and regulations.

, OOIDA and their allies have filed what have proven to be frivolous and baseless legal actions against FMCSA and their efforts to bring the United States into compliance with our obligations under NAFTA. With few exceptions, the courts have all ruled against OOIDA and their allies.


In the past, all issues raised by OOIDA and their allies in their misguided attempts to use the courts to stop Mexican trucks from operating in the United States have been rejected, with the exception of an argument concerning environmental impact studies. FMCSA complied with that ruling and we were off to the races and OOIDA and their allies were left in the dust trying to think of another bogus issue to raise.

With this petition, they think they’ve found one and in the very unlikely chance SCOTUS decided to hear the case and the less likely scenario that OOIDA should win this one, it could cause unimaginable disruptions to the US and Canadian transportation industry.

Despite the existence of a Letter of Mutual Understanding between the United States and Mexico agreeing that the commercial licenses of each country is basically similar and acceptable to the other, OOIDA is asking SCOTUS to rule on these two questions.

By statute enacted in 1998 Congress unambiguously precluded any individual from operating a commercial motor vehicle without a commercial drivers license issued under federal standards.

Under the “last-in-time” rule historically used to establish precedence between conflicting treaties and acts of Congress under the Supremacy Clause, this unambiguous provision should have been viewed as abrogating a conflicting provision in a 1991 executive agreement with Mexico providing for mutual recognition of each nation’s commercial drivers’ licenses. The Court of Appeals ruled otherwise holding that conditions placed in two appropriations bills amended the unambiguous language of the 1998 statute.

Did the Court of Appeals’ decision disturb the equilibrium between Congress and the Executive Branch under the Supremacy Clause by:

(1) finding by implication Congressional intent to repeal or amend an unambiguous statute, and

(2) elevating executive agreements to a position higher than acts of Congress by imposing upon Congress a more burdensome threshold for abrogation?

And the second question.

2. 49 U.S.C. § 31302(a) forbids individuals from operating commercial motor vehicles without a valid commercial driver’s license issued in accordance with U.S. law. Did the Court of Appeals err by failing to address the canon of statutory construction holding that repeal of a statute by implication is not favored, and by failing to recognize that this canon applies with even greater force when the claimed repeal rests solely on appropriations acts?

Anybody see the potential problems here should this argument be accepted and SCOTUS rules in favor of OOIDA?  Not only would it effect the cross border drayage industry which US truckers rely on to bring freight to them across the southern border under our archaic rules, it would also effect every single Canadian drivers that routinely runs in the US without restriction.

The petition as it is presented seemingly would apply only to the Mexicans, but it doesn’t. A ruling in favor of OOIDA would effectively disrupt trade between the three countries valued in the hundred of billions of dollars. And the United States could not apply the ruling only to the Mexicans while allowing the Canadians continues access.

It’s amazing how one irrelevant little bigot can have the potential to do this much damage to the US economy and the transportation industry of three countries and spend untold millions of dollars of members dollars to pursue a personal agenda.

It’s interesting that the Teamsters nor the bogus safety groups who have allied themselves with Jim Johnston and OOIDA in the past have not jumped on this bandwagon.

It is even more curious that OOIDA has not mentioned this latest attempt to stop the pilot program though a media release from it’s press office.

Only a handful of trucking publications have written anything about this latest OOIDA stunt, and only after I advised them of the filing and none of the trucking talk shows on SirusXM or Clear Channel have made any mention of it.

All very curious.

A response from FMCSA has been requested by November 27, 2013.

Feel free to download and review the latest lunacy from Jim Johnston and OOIDA


This post is part of the thread: Mexico Cross Border Pilot Program – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.