Today, a three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral arguments in ATA’s (and Public Citizen’s) challenge to the hours of service rules. As you know, ATA challenged the rulemaking as arbitrary and capricious because the agency’s decisions contradicted the evidence it relied on. However, the judges were fairly restrained in their questioning of both ATA and the government’s counsel about details of FMCSA’s justifications for the rule. The limited number of questions posed by the judges mainly focused on whether Public Citizen had standing to bring their challenge and whether Public Citizen had waived some of its arguments.
We are a bit disappointed that more questions were not directed to the government’s attorney to explain the unjustifiable and unreasonable assumptions that underpinned the rulemaking.
While it’s difficult to predict when a decision will be handed down, ATA’s best guess is sometime in May.