WASHINGTON (June 6, 2013) — The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA has filed an appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia asking for a rehearing of its lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Transportation and DOT's pilot cross-border trucking program with Mexico.
The appeals court ruled against the OOIDA in April 2013. Congress had approved two appropriations bills authorizing the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FCMSA) to go ahead with the pilot program, which accepts Mexican-issued commercial drivers licenses (CDLs) as equivalent to U.S. licenses.
According to the court's decision, the appropriations bills repealed by implication federal statutes banning truck drivers on U.S. roads without federal CDLs.
In its brief filed June 3, the OOIDA said the appeals court's decision was faulty on its face.
"When Congress enacts statutory safety standards, those whose actions are regulated by the standards, as well as those whose activities are protected by the standards, have justified expectations that the law will be implemented according to its terms," the OOIDA said.
An appropriations bill cannot rightly be considered a repeal by implication of a safety regulation, the OOIDA argued. The appropriations bills in question were only intended to set forth circumstances for FCMSA temporary pilot programs, but the court instead interpreted them as permanent CDL exemptions for Mexican drivers, it said.
The OOIDA asked either for a rehearing before the three-judge panel that ruled on the original case, or an en banc hearing before all 11 judges of the appeals court.
The OOIDA is not the only organization requesting a rehearing in the Mexican pilot program case. Also on June 3, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Sierra Club filed a joint appeal, requesting a rehearing on the grounds that the decision violates the National Environmental Policy Act.