The day has finally come.
The federal district court that initially placed the injunction against California Assembly Bill 5 for trucking, at the behest of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, has removed that injunction as of August 29th. The California Trucking Association is not giving up!
Timeline of Events
California’s Assembly Bill 5 became law at the end of 2019, going into effect in 2020. Judge Roger Benitez placed the injunction the first month after it became law. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals took until April 2021 to resolve the dispute, wherein it said that that it did not contradict the F4A, a congressional act that further elaborates what is meant by interstate commerce. The California Trucking Association appealed to the Supreme Court, who declined to hear the case.
The declination to hear the case from the Supreme Court outraged truckers, and they went to various ports to protest. As of August 29th AB-5 applies to truckers in the state of California and the business model of an owner-operator working under the Authority of a larger carrier is dead.
Funnily enough, the businesses AB-5 was originally intended to curtail, such as Uber, Lyft, and Doordash, do not have it apply thanks to the passing of Proposition 22.
What is Next?
The California Trucking Association is not giving up just yet. They are filing another suit saying that California AB-5 violates the Dormant Commerce Clause, which essentially means they are arguing that it puts too much of a burden on interstate commerce in transactions regarding California as a beginning or endpoint.
With the previous dispute ending in favor of AB-5, it is possible the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will reject an injunction again on the grounds of stare decisis, and the issue will be back where it was the same time last year, at the doorstep of the Supreme Court. Whether or not the Supreme Court hears the case relies on numerous factors, such as how many other cases they will deal with in the 2023 session. We will have to wait and see what the outcome is of this new turn of events.
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