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Supreme Court Will Not Hear ELD Appeal

On June 12, the United States Supreme Court stated it would not hear a lawsuit challenging the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate. The suit had been brought by two owner-operators and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA). As a result, the Department of Transportation (DOT) rule requiring truckers to electronically log hours of service remains in place. The deadline for compliance remains December 18 of this year.

The Commercial Carrier Journal (CCJ), quoted a OOIDA statement which expressed dissatisfaction with the decision. The statement says, that the association is “extremely disappointed that the Supreme Court does not see the merit in reviewing our case with so many questions about its constitutionality.”

Arguments Advanced by Association

In part, OOIDA argued the ELD mandate was not consistent with federal legislation regarding the implementation of the mandate. The association also argued that the mandate would violate truckers’ constitutional rights protecting citizens against searches without a warrant. In its submission to the U.S. Supreme Court, OOIDA also argued that the ELD mandate, by allowing electronic surveillance without warrants, could establish a precedent that could potentially impact those working outside the trucking industry as well.

Previous Appeals Denied 

The suit was initially brought in March 2016 against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and its parent agency, the DOT. The lower court that heard the case ruled against OOIDA. A three-judge panel from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed the case late in 2016, but it dismissed all OOIDA arguments against the ELD mandate. OOIDA then appealed to all 13 judges of the 7th Circuit Court of appeals, and that appeal was denied. Finally, the Supreme Court Justices considered the OOIDA appeal on June 8 before issuing its decision on June 12.

The OOIDA says it will continue to explore legislative options in Congress.

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