Supreme Court to hear Mexican truck issue in March or April

| 12/31/2003

The U.S. Supreme Court in either March or April will decide whether challenges by labor and environmental groups to the Bush administration's desire to allow Mexican trucks to operate on U.S. highways have merit, The Associated Press reported.

The court agreed Dec. 15 to intervene in a 20-year-old fight over allowing Mexican trucks and buses on U.S. roadways.

Specifically, the court will hear an appeal from the Bush administration, which wants to open the border to Mexican trucks without a court-ordered environmental study.

The $1.8 million study is expected to take a year or more, further delaying the border opening President Bush ordered last fall over long-standing opposition from U.S. labor, consumer and environmental organizations.

The consumer group Public Citizen, the Teamsters and others sued on safety and environmental grounds, and a federal appeals court ruled earlier this year that the government must perform the lengthy study.

The Bush administration has said it would comply with that order, but also appealed to the Supreme Court in September.

Since 1982, trucks from Mexico have been allowed only in 20-mile commercial border zones, where Mexican rigs must transfer their cargo to U.S. trucks for deliveries within the United States.

Mexican trucks make approximately 4.5 million border crossings every year, and it is cumbersome and expensive to offload cargo to U.S. trucks, the administration appeal said.

Wall Street Journal puts truckers' names up in lights

Seven OOIDA members were featured in a story in The Wall Street Journal Dec. 31, including truck show champion Vladimir Bilik Jr., whose rig was shown in a color photo near the top of the famed business paper's front page.

The story, by writer Daniel Machalaba, discussed the growing trend of truckers who add large numbers of lights to their rigs.

Featured OOIDA members in the article, titled “To Keep on Truckin' Today Requires Lots And Lots of Lights,” were: Chris Lewis, Bilik, Suzanne Stempinski, Russell Wyrick, Rod and Kim Grimm, and Mike Knezevich.