SPECIAL REPORT: OOIDA cross-border legal challenge advances

By Jami Jones, senior editor | 10/3/2007

Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2007 – The lawsuit filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association challenging the cross-border program is moving forward in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

Initially, OOIDA filed its challenge of the cross-border trucking program with Mexico in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The suit also requested an emergency stay of the cross-border program.

The DC court denied the request for the stay, but did not rule whatsoever on the merits of the Association’s case.

OOIDA isn’t the only group with a case challenging the cross-border program. The Sierra Club is also challenging the program. That group filed its case in the 9th Circuit in California.

Once the DC Circuit ruled on OOIDA’s request for the emergency stay, it assigned the case to a Judicial Panel of Multidistrict Litigation to decide what Court of Appeals would hear the two cases.

OOIDA’s legal team filed a motion on Sept. 28 supporting a transfer of the case to the 9th Circuit.

“We very well could have argued to keep it in the DC Circuit - only problem in doing that is we could have created a delay,” OOIDA President Jim Johnston said. “If we had presented papers to keep it in the DC Circuit and someone else presented papers arguing it should go to 9th Circuit, then it simply would have delayed the process by weeks or even months.”

Johnston is optimistic about OOIDA’s arguments in the challenge of the cross-border program.

“We have our argument prepared and we feel we have a very good argument,” he said. “So, in that respect, we’re pleased to have been able to move this case this quickly to the 9th Circuit and let the games begin.”

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