The American Trucking Assns. made arguments last week before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the trucking federation’s ongoing challenge to what ATA calls an “ill-founded attempt by the Port of Los Angeles to impose a comprehensive licensing scheme on trucks hauling freight in and out of the port.”

“We believe it is clear that in 1980 Congress established that trucking should be shaped by the competitive market, rather than government regulations,” said ATA Deputy Chief Counsel Richard Pianka. “And Congress underscored that desire in 1994 in the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act which prohibits state and local governments from enacting or enforcing any law, regulation, or provision having the force and effect of law related to a price, route, or service of any motor carrier.”

“Despite this, leaders in Los Angeles moved forward with a plan to shape the market for trucking at the Port by imposing a laundry list of regulations that should all be clearly preempted by the FAAAA,” Pianka said. “If these rules are allowed to stand, it would clear the way for a patchwork of regulations that would lead to unreasonable burdens on the movement of goods.”

ATA’s case was argued by Daniel Lerman, an attorney with the firm of Robbins Russell in Washington. In addition, the Solicitor General’s office, representing the views of the federal government, joined with ATA in urging the Court to hold that the Port’s requirements are impermissibly in conflict with the Congressional policy articulated in the FAAAA.

A number of groups supported ATA’s position by filing amicus briefs, including the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, Airlines for America, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn., National Federation of Independent Businesses and the Harbor Trucking Assn.

A decision in the case is likely some time before the Court’s current term ends in June.