The Supreme Court will not hear an owner-operator petition to overturn the Obama administration’s pilot program for long-distance trucking across the U.S.-Mexico border.
The court today denied without comment a plea by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association to review a lower court’s decision that upheld the program.
In that decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected a petition by OOIDA and the Teamsters Union to declare the program illegal. The groups had contended that program’s licensing, medical and drug test requirements are inadequate.
In its ruling today, the Supreme Court also denied OOIDA’s plea to combine this matter with another that the association has pending.
The second matter, in which OOIDA contests the program’s medical qualifications of drivers, should get Supreme Court review in the future, said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer.
The current pilot program permits Mexican carriers that have met safety standards set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to provide long-distance service to and from the U.S. It is designed to prove that the agency’s standards will ensure safe operation by Mexican carriers.
There are now nine Mexican carriers with permanent authority under the program, and five with provisional authority.
OOIDA and the Teamsters have been fighting the border opening since it was included in the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994.
Spencer said he wishes the court had agreed to review the matter, but in any event OOIDA will continue to challenge the program.