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AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSNS., INC. v. DOT

April 8, 1980

AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSOCIATIONS, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: PRATT

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Plaintiff seeks to enjoin the Department of Transportation from printing and disseminating material which they allege to be in violation of two statutory provisions. For the reasons discussed below, we grant defendants' motion to dismiss because the plaintiff lacks standing and because the plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

 FACTS

 Plaintiff American Trucking Association, a national organization representing all types of motor carriers of freight, has sued the United States Department of Transportation and its Secretary, Neil Goldschmidt, seeking preliminary and permanent injunctive relief. By its amended complaint, plaintiff seeks to enjoin the Department from printing and distributing certain materials advancing the Administration's position on legislation now pending before the Congress, the Trucking Competition and Safety Act of 1979 (S. 1400 and H.R. 4856), which was introduced by the Administration to deregulate the trucking industry. Plaintiff, which opposes trucking deregulation, alleges that these materials have been printed and distributed in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1913 (the Anti-Lobbying Act) and § 607(a) of P.L. 95-429 (92 Stat. 1016). Section 1913 provides that funds appropriated by Congress may not be used to pay for services or material designed to influence a member of Congress to favor or oppose legislation. Section 607(a) provides that no appropriations may be used for publicity or propaganda purposes designed to support or defeat legislation pending before the Congress.

 The complaint and the affidavits of Ernest Warner, Jr., the Department of Transportation's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs, reveal the following material *fn1" prepared and distributed by the Department is alleged to be in violation of the two statutes:

 (a) An April, 1979 Department Fact Sheet summarizing the Administration's views on trucking regulatory reform, which was mailed only upon request to 10 to 12 individuals, largely members of the press.

 (c) A July 18, 1979 mailing containing a copy of testimony supporting the legislation by the Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors, Charles Schultz, which was mailed to the same group receiving the June 29th mailing.

 (d) A Fall, 1979 issue of the Department's quarterly magazine, Transportation U.S.A., containing an article stating the Administration's position on the pending legislation, 9,800 copies of which were distributed free to interested groups and individuals, and 2,380 copies of which were distributed to paid subscribers.

 Plaintiff brings this action because it contends that it will be harmed by deregulation of the trucking industry, and impliedly, that the action complained of will in some way bring about or help to bring about passage of the legislation deregulating the industry.

 This action is before us on defendants' motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), Fed.R.Civ.P., because the plaintiff lacks standing and because the plaintiff has no cause of action. Alternatively, defendants move for summary judgment, pursuant to Rule 56(b), Fed.R.Civ.P. *fn2" For the reasons discussed below, we dismiss this action because we find that plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and is without standing to seek the injunctive relief requested.

 ANALYSIS

 1. Private Right of Action

 Plaintiff bases federal question jurisdiction on two statutes, 18 U.S.C. § 1913 and § 607(a) of P.L. 95-429 (92 Stat. 1016). These ...


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