STATE AND FEDERAL COURTS

What state or states could ABC Freightways file the lawsuit? Should they file in a state or federal court? Why? and Does it matter?

ABC Freightways can file the lawsuit in a federal court because the commerce statute is limiting interstate free market which is encouraged by the federal court. The federal court also has jurisdiction over the highways that connect states for interstate trade. The Commerce clause is a provision in the US constitution that gives the congress exclusive power to regulate trade between states. The commerce clause gives congress power to regulate commerce to ensure that there is free flow of interstate commerce and that local states cannot restrain the interstate commerce. ABC Freightways can then file a suit in the federal court because it is a possible violation of the federal government’s commerce clause. 

Is the State of Kansas statute an impermissible burden on interstate commerce? Why? 

The state of Kansas statute is an impermissible burden on interstate commerce because it does not have enough valid reasons to do so. In addition, the reason for introducing the statute does not outweigh the interest of the federal state to keep interstate commerce free from interferences. The statute is interfering with interstate free trade as it is prohibiting trucks of certain lengths from passing through Kansas which is definitely impeding interstate commerce. In the Kassel v. Consolidated Freightways Corp (1981) case, the court of appeal held that a state that introduces such a statute should produce persuasive evidence on why use of shorter trucks can benefit the state. 

Does the exception to the statute survive the constitutional challenge? Why? 

The exception to the statute is not likely to survive the challenge. This is because even though the exception allows cities along the borders of the state to make an exception to the law that allowed trucks in excess of 55 feet to use their local roads, the law still restricts interstate and intrastate movement of trucks that are in excess of 55 feet. This means that if the exception applied, trucks that exceed 55 feet would not freely move within the state of Kansas. In the American Trucking Assns., Inc. V. Michigan Pub. Serv. Comm’n case, the court held that Michigan did not violate the dormant commerce clause because it did not discriminate against interstate or out of state enterprises. However, in this case, the state of Kansas is discriminating against interstate or out of state enterprises.

What do you recommendations to resolve this lawsuit? 

In order to resolve the lawsuit, ABC Freightways should file a suit in the federal court against the commerce statute put in place by the state of Kansas that limits the length of trucks use its interstates to 55 feet. ABC Freightways should do this in order to have the state remove the statute and enable free interstate commerce. The trucking company has more chances to have the federal court rule in its favour. In the Kassel v. Consolidated Freightways Corp (1981) case, the Supreme Court ruled that an Iowa state statute prohibiting trucks of particular length to travel through the state was an unconstitutional burden to interstate commerce as it only allowed smaller trucks to travel through Iowa. Since the statute created inefficiency to trucking companies and added expenses to interstate commerce, the Supreme Court ruled against the Iowa statute.

What ethical issues are related to the offer made by the state troopers? and how should ABC Freightways respond to these ethical issues? 

The ethical issues that arise in the offer made by the state troopers are that there is no impartiality of the law and that the law only applies to trucking companies that are not travelling through the state on weekends and between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. during the week. In addition, it applies to the trucking companies that cannot make contributions to the trooper’s unions. ABC Freightways should respond to these ethical issues by including the claims in the lawsuit to inform the federal court of the discriminatory and unethical nature of the passed law. 

 

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