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California AB 5 in the Supreme Court: The latest | $1M in Ukraine aid from truck stop round-up campaign

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Trucking news and briefs for Friday, April 8, 2022:

AB 5 Supreme Court ruling remains in limbo

There has been no action since mid-November in the California Trucking Association’s challenge to the state’s restrictive AB 5 law that would effectively put a halt to the traditional leased owner-operator model in the state.

The last action occurred on Nov. 15, when the U.S. Supreme Court asked the Solicitor General to file a brief expressing the views of the United States on the case.

Greg Feary, president and managing partner with transportation legal firm Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, said there is no deadline for the Solicitor General to file a brief for the case, but he expects the brief to be filed at the end of April or early May.

Once it's filed, the Supreme Court will be left to decide if it will grant CTA’s request to review the case, known legally as a writ of certiorari. The current Supreme Court session will end in June or July, and the next session won’t begin until October.

“If the Supreme Court denies the petition of certiorari, it might well do so before the end of this session,” Feary said. “It is, however, more likely that the decision on the grant or denial of a hearing would be issued later this fall, possibly October or November.”

Feary noted that there are currently three cases, including CTA’s case, before the Supreme Court involving the question of the extent to which the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA or F4A) preempts state law.

Because of this, Feary said he suspects “the Supreme Court will take some time in its analysis of which case," if any, "to grant certiorari to, and it is even conceivable that the Supreme Court could consolidate one or more cases and grant certiorari.”

Ultimately, Feary said, “I suspect if certiorari is granted, we might not see oral arguments until the Spring of 2023 and possibly not see a decision on the merits until the Fall of 2023.”

[Related: Can owner-operators win against AB 5's ABC test?]

Pilot, customers "round up" for $1M-plus in Ukraine aid

The Save the Children org is sending food deliveries from Romania, over the border into Ukraine to be distributed by partners in the country. The essential items will be delivered to Internally Displaced persons who are mainly women and children.The Save the Children org is sending food deliveries from Romania, over the border into Ukraine to be distributed by partners in the country. The essential items will be delivered to Internally Displaced persons who are mainly women and children.

Families in Ukraine, as well as those who have already fled the country, will soon receive additional assistance on behalf of Pilot Company, its team members and customers, who raised a total of $1,153,000 for Save the Children's Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund.

This amount includes the total raised after the conclusion of a March-announced round-up campaign at more than 650 participating U.S. travel centers and restaurants, and an additional $100,000 gift from Pilot Company directly.

"The devastation in Ukraine is heartbreaking," said Shameek Konar, CEO of Pilot Company. "We've seen how our round-up giving campaigns can quickly make a difference thanks to the support of our team members and guests, and we are again in amazement of their generosity and compassion." 

Save the Children is providing relief for children and families inside Ukraine as well as in neighboring countries through delivering food, water, hygiene kits, voucher assistance, and other humanitarian programs. The organization aims to reach 10 million children and their families impacted by the Ukraine crisis. 

Said Luciana Bonifacio, Chief Development Officer, Save the Children, "The funds raised will enable us to distribute critical emergency supplies and where possible, establish safe spaces for children, ultimately helping protect impacted children and families in Ukraine and neighboring countries." 

TA celebrating 50th anniversary with points giveaway

TravelCenters of America is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and has launched a promotion in which drivers can get $50 in UltraOne points.

TA UltraOne Loyalty members can register for the contest here through April 14.

The first 50 drivers to complete 50 fuel transactions will win 5,000 UltraOne points — a $50 value. The promotion ends Aug. 15. 

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