Solicitor General's input sought by Supremes before LA truck ruling

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THE US Supreme Court is seeking a plea from the Office of the US Solicitor General in the legal challenge against the Port of Los Angeles' requirements of its clean truck programme.

US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, recently mauled defending the Obamacare bill before the Supreme Court, is changed with representing the federal government.

Last year the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled a number of requirements in the port's clean-trucks programme were legal, but rejected its ban independent truckers to favour of an employee-drivers only.

Port authorities were trying to introduce a rule that drivers had to be direct employees of trucking companies. Seventy per cent of truckers serving the port are non-unionised independents, often owner operators. The Teamsters union and environmentalists favour the ban.

Despite the American Trucking Associations winning on the independent driver point, it again appealed the 9th Circuit's decision to the Supreme Court expressing concern about a dangerous precedent being set if ports were permitted to establish requirements affecting truck rates, routes and services.

Requirements the 9th Circuit accepted included limits on off-street parking, maintenance and repair requirements, and proof of financial responsibility for motor carriers.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News
 

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