Friday, Sept. 21, 2007 – The lawsuit filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association challenging the cross-border program is moving forward – the only question is what court is going to hear the case.
In an order issued late today by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the request made by OOIDA for an emergency stay of the program was denied. The court, however, did not rule whatsoever on the merits of the case.
“The decision does not reflect the merits of the case against the DOT,” said OOIDA President and CEO Jim Johnston. “The case will still be heard and we are preparing to move forward with that, plus the legislative actions we are taking in Washington, DC.”
Because of OOIDA’s lawsuit being filed in the DC Circuit, and another lawsuit challenging the program filed in California by the Sierra Club in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the court assigned the case to the Judicial Panel of Multidistrict Litigation to decide what Court of Appeals will hear the two cases.
While the panel is deciding where the court challenges of the cross-border program will be heard, the Department of Transportation will be able to continue its cross-border program.
Once the panel decides which district of the Court of Appeals will hear the cases, a court calendar will be set and the cases will proceed.
In the court’s order assigning the case to the panel and denying the stay, the court also acknowledged the fact that OOIDA’s legal challenge of the program was filed in a timely manner, possibly eliminating at least one argument against OOIDA’s lawsuit DOT could bring up in court.
“We believe we have a very strong case on the merits,” Johnston said. “It’s just a matter now of finding out what court is going to hear the case.”
– By Jami Jones, senior editor