The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court for hearing the ELD mandate case.
In October 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected OOIDA’s petition that the FMCSA’s latest ELD rule should be repealed. The U.S. Court of Appeals, however, rejected OOIDA’s arguments and issued a decision in favor of the FMCSA by stating that the “ELD mandate is not arbitrary or capricious, nor does it violate the Fourth Amendment.”
After losing the case, OOIDA filed a petition for rehearing in front of the full Seventh Circuit Court, which was later denied as well. At that time, Jim Johnston, the CEO and President of OOIDA, said that they are preparing for an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
There is no timeline for when the court will make its decision on whether they’d like to hear the ELD mandate case or not.
In this blog post, we take a look at why trucking company owners should not pay too much attention to this recent development and why the U.S. Supreme Court is unlikely to repeal the ELD mandate.
Here are four reasons why appealing to the Supreme Court isn’t likely to work in OOIDA’s favor.
- On average, from the day a case is petitioned, it takes between 12 – 24 months for the Supreme Court to make a decision. The ELD mandate deadline is less than eight months away now. The ELD mandate is likely to be implemented by then.
- The Supreme Court usually receives approximately 7,000 – 8,000 requests per year. But it only hears about 80 cases. That’s a success ratio of less than 1.14%.
- The Seventh Circuit Court is just a step below the U.S. Supreme Court. And it has already rejected OOIDA’s arguments. That’s a strong indicator that the U.S. Supreme Court won’t completely reverse the decision.
- The decision issued by the Seventh Circuit Courts was extremely detailed. The court didn’t agree with any of the arguments presented by OOIDA. It was very meticulous in presenting the result in favor of the ELD mandate and left no ambiguity or possibility for the decision to go another way.
As mentioned earlier, there is no timeline for when the Supreme Court will decide whether it will hear the case or not. As of now, the ELD mandate is less than 8 months away. Almost all commercial vehicles and drivers, with a few exceptions, will need to have FMCSA-registered ELDs by December 18, 2017.
Instead of speculating about its future, it is time for fleets to start preparing for the upcoming ELD mandate. The process of ELD implementation takes some time for a seamless transition. It’s important to plan ahead and give your fleet managers and CMV drivers enough time to get accustomed to ELDs.
FMCSA’s Director, Joe DeLorenzo, also stressed the importance of planning ahead during one of his recent addresses. In his own words, “The biggest mistake — and this is not just an ELD rule issue; it is kind of ‘any rule’ issue — our natural human tendency is to wait. Pre-planning and thinking about your operation in the context of ELDs is really what the most important thing is.”