throbber
(Slip Opinion)
`
`
`
` OCTOBER TERM, 2012
`
`
`Syllabus
`
`1
`
` NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is
`
`
`
` being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued.
`
`
`
` The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been
`
` prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader.
`
` See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337.
`
`
`SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
`
`
`
` Syllabus
`
`AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSOCIATIONS, INC. v. CITY
`
` OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, ET AL.
`CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR
`
`THE NINTH CIRCUIT
` No. 11–798. Argued April 16, 2013—Decided June 13, 2013
`
`The Port of Los Angeles, a division of the City of Los Angeles, is run by
`a Board of Harbor Commissioners pursuant to a municipal ordinance
`
` known as a tariff. The Port leases marine terminal facilities to oper-
`ators that load cargo onto and unload it from docking ships. Federal-
`
` ly licensed short-haul trucks, called “drayage trucks,” assist in those
` operations by moving cargo into and out of the Port. In 2007, in re-
`
`sponse to community concerns over the impact of a proposed port ex-
`pansion on traffic, the environment, and safety, the Board imple-
`mented a Clean Truck Program. As part of that program, the Board
`
`devised a standard-form “concession agreement” to govern the rela-
`tionship between the Port and drayage companies. The agreement
`requires a company to affix a placard on each truck with a phone
`number for reporting concerns, and to submit a plan listing off-street
`
`
`parking locations for each truck. Other requirements relate to a
`company’s financial capacity, its maintenance of trucks, and its em-
`ployment of drivers. The concession agreement sets out penalties for
`violations, including possible suspension or revocation of the right to
`
`provide drayage services. The Board also amended the Port’s tariff to
`
`ensure that every drayage company would enter into the agreement.
`
`The amended tariff makes it a misdemeanor, punishable by fine or
`imprisonment, for a terminal operator to grant access to an unregis-
`tered drayage truck.
` Petitioner American Trucking Associations, Inc. (ATA), whose
`members include many of the drayage companies at the Port, sued
`the Port and City, seeking an injunction against the concession
`agreement’s requirements. ATA principally contended that the re-
`
`quirements are expressly preempted by the Federal Aviation Admin-
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
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`
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`

`
`2
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`
`AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSNS., INC. v. LOS ANGELES
`
`
`Syllabus
`
`istration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA), see 49 U. S. C.
`§14501(c)(1). ATA also argued that even if the requirements are val-
`
`id, Castle v. Hayes Freight Lines, Inc., 348 U. S. 61, prevents the Port
`from enforcing the requirements by withdrawing a defaulting compa-
`ny’s right to operate at the Port. The District Court held that neither
`
`§14501(c)(1) nor Castle prevented the Port from proceeding with its
`program. The Ninth Circuit mainly affirmed, finding only the driver-
`employment provision preempted and rejecting petitioner’s Castle
`
`claim.
`Held:
`
`
`1. The FAAAA expressly preempts the concession agreement’s
`placard and parking requirements. Section 14501(c)(1) preempts a
`state “law, regulation, or other provision having the force and effect
`
`of law related to a price, route, or service of any motor carrier . . .
` 49 U. S. C.
`with respect to the transportation of property.”
`
`§14501(c)(1). Because the parties agree that the Port’s placard and
`
`parking requirements relate to a motor carrier’s price, route, or ser-
`vice with respect to transporting property, the only disputed question
`
`is whether those requirements “hav[e] the force and effect of law.”
`Section 14501(c)(1) draws a line between a government’s exercise of
`regulatory authority and its own contract-based participation in a
`market. The statute’s “force and effect of law” language excludes
`from the clause’s scope contractual arrangements made by a State
`when it acts as a market participant, not as a regulator. See, e.g.,
`
`American Airlines, Inc. v. Wolens, 513 U. S. 219, 229. But here, the
`Port exercised classic regulatory authority in imposing the placard
`and parking requirements.
`It forced terminal operators—and
`through them, trucking companies—to alter their conduct by imple-
`menting a criminal prohibition punishable by imprisonment. That
`counts as action “having the force and effect of law” if anything does.
`
`The Port’s primary argument to the contrary focuses on motives ra-
`ther than means. But the Port’s proprietary intentions do not con-
`trol. When the government employs a coercive mechanism, available
`to no private party, it acts with the force and effect of law, whether or
`not it does so to turn a profit. Only if it forgoes the (distinctively gov-
`ernmental) exercise of legal authority may it escape §14501(c)(1)’s
`preemptive scope. That the criminal sanctions fall on terminal oper-
`ators, not directly on the trucking companies, also makes no differ-
`ence. See, e.g., Rowe v. New Hampshire Motor Transp. Assn., 552
`U. S. 364, 371–373. Pp. 6−10.
`
`2. This Court declines to decide in the case’s present, pre-
`enforcement posture whether Castle limits the way the Port can en-
`force the financial-capacity and truck-maintenance requirements up-
`
`
`held by the Ninth Circuit. Castle rebuffed a State’s attempt to bar a
`
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`

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`3
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`Cite as: 569 U. S. ____ (2013)
`
`
`Syllabus
`federally licensed motor carrier from its highways for past infringe-
`
`ments of state safety regulations. But Castle does not prevent a
`State from taking off the road a vehicle that is contemporaneously
`
`out of compliance with such regulations. And at this juncture, there
`is no basis for finding that the Port will actually use the concession
`agreement’s penalty provision as Castle proscribes. Pp. 10−12.
`660 F. 3d 384, reversed in part and remanded.
`KAGAN, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court. THOMAS, J.,
`
`
`
`filed a concurring opinion.
`
`
`
`

`
`
`
`
`
` Cite as: 569 U. S. ____ (2013)
`
`Opinion of the Court
`
`1
`
`
` NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the
`
`
`
` preliminary print of the United States Reports. Readers are requested to
`
` notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Wash-
`
` ington, D. C. 20543, of any typographical or other formal errors, in order
`
`
` that corrections may be made before the preliminary print goes to press.
`
`
`
`
`SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
`
`_________________
`
` No. 11–798
`_________________
` AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSOCIATIONS, INC.,
`
`
`PETITIONER v. CITY OF LOS ANGELES,
`
`CALIFORNIA, ET AL.
`
`
`ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF
`
`
`APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
`
`[June 13, 2013]
`
`JUSTICE KAGAN delivered the opinion of the Court.
`In this case, we consider whether federal law preempts
`
`certain provisions of an agreement that trucking compa-
`nies must sign before they can transport cargo at the Port
`of Los Angeles. We hold that the Federal Aviation Admin-
`istration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA) expressly
`preempts two of the contract’s provisions, which require
`such a company to develop an off-street parking plan and
`display designated placards on its vehicles. We decline to
`decide in the case’s present, pre-enforcement posture
`whether, under Castle v. Hayes Freight Lines, Inc., 348
`U. S. 61 (1954), federal law governing licenses for inter-
`state motor carriers prevents the Port from using the
`agreement’s penalty clause to punish violations of other,
`non-preempted provisions.
`
`
`
`
`
`I
`
`A
`
`The Port of Los Angeles, a division of the City of Los
`
`Angeles, is the largest port in the country. The Port owns
`marine terminal facilities, which it leases to “terminal
`
`
`
`

`
`2
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`
`
`AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSNS., INC. v. LOS ANGELES
`
`Opinion of the Court
`operators” (such as shipping lines and stevedoring compa-
`nies) that load cargo onto and unload it from docking
`ships. Short-haul trucks, called “drayage trucks,” move
`the cargo into and out of the Port. The trucking compa-
`nies providing those drayage services are all federally
`licensed motor carriers. Before the events giving rise
`to this case, they contracted with terminal operators to
`transport cargo, but did not enter into agreements with
`the Port itself.
`
`The City’s Board of Harbor Commissioners runs the
`
`Port pursuant to a municipal ordinance known as a tariff,
`which sets out various regulations and charges. In the
`late 1990’s, the Board decided to enlarge the Port’s facili-
`ties to accommodate more ships. Neighborhood and envi-
`ronmental groups objected to the proposed expansion,
`arguing that it would increase congestion and air pollution
`and decrease safety in the surrounding area. A lawsuit
`they brought, and another they threatened, stymied the
`Board’s development project for almost 10 years.
`
`To address the community’s concerns, the Board imple-
`mented a Clean Truck Program beginning in 2007.
`Among other actions, the Board devised a standard-form
`“concession agreement” to govern the relationship between
`the Port and any trucking company seeking to operate on
`the premises. Under that contract, a company may
`transport cargo at the Port in exchange for complying with
`various requirements. The two directly at issue here
`compel the company to (1) affix a placard on each truck
`with a phone number for reporting environmental or
`safety concerns (You’ve seen the type: “How am I driving?
`213–867–5309”) and (2) submit a plan listing off-street
`parking locations for each truck when not in service.
`
`Three other provisions in the agreement, formerly dis-
`puted in this litigation, relate to the company’s financial
`capacity, its maintenance of trucks, and its employment of
`
`drivers.
`
`
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`

`
`
`
` Cite as: 569 U. S. ____ (2013)
`
`Opinion of the Court
` The Board then amended the Port’s tariff to ensure that
`
`
`every company providing drayage services at the facility
`would enter into the concession agreement. The mecha-
`nism the Board employed is a criminal prohibition on
`terminal operators. The amended tariff provides that “no
`Terminal Operator shall permit access into any Terminal
`in the Port of Los Angeles to any Drayage Truck unless
`such Drayage Truck is registered under a Concession
`[Agreement].” App. 105. A violation of that provision—
`which occurs “each and every day” a terminal operator
`provides access to an unregistered truck—is a misde-
`meanor. Id., at 86. It is punishable by a fine of up to $500
`or a prison sentence of up to six months. Id., at 85–86.
`The concession agreement itself spells out penalties for
`
`any signatory trucking company that violates its require-
`ments. When a company commits a “Minor Default,” the
`Port may issue a warning letter or order the company to
`undertake “corrective action,” complete a “course of . . .
`training,” or pay the costs of the Port’s investigation. Id.,
`at 81–82. When a company commits a “Major Default,”
`the Port may also suspend or revoke the company’s right
`
` to provide drayage services at the Port. Id., at 82. The
`agreement, however, does not specify which breaches of
`
`the contract qualify as “Major,” rather than “Minor.” And
`the parties agree that the Port has never suspended or
`revoked a trucking company’s license to operate at the
`Port for a prior violation of one of the contract provisions
`involved in this case. See Tr. of Oral Arg. 42–43, 49–51.
`B
`Petitioner American Trucking Associations, Inc. (ATA),
`
`is a national trade association representing the trucking
`industry, including drayage companies that operate at the
`Port. ATA filed suit against the Port and City, seeking an
`injunction against the five provisions of the concession
`agreement discussed above. The complaint principally
`
`
`
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`3
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`

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`4
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`AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSNS., INC. v. LOS ANGELES
`
`Opinion of the Court
`contended that §14501(c)(1) of the FAAAA expressly
`preempts those requirements. That statutory section
`states:
`“[A] State [or local government] may not enact or en-
`force a law, regulation, or other provision having the
`
`force and effect of law related to a price, route, or ser-
`vice of any motor carrier . . . with respect to the trans-
`
`portation of property.” 49 U. S. C. §14501(c)(1).1
`ATA also offered a back-up argument: Even if the re-
`quirements are valid, ATA claimed, the Port may not
`enforce them by withdrawing a defaulting company’s right
`
`to operate at the Port. That argument rested on Castle v.
`Hayes Freight Lines, Inc., 348 U. S. 61 (1954), which held
`that Illinois could not bar a federally licensed motor car-
`rier from its highways for prior violations of state safety
`regulations. We reasoned in Castle that the State’s action
`
`conflicted with federal law providing for certification of
`motor carriers; and ATA argued here that a similar con-
`flict would inhere in applying the concession agreement to
`suspend or revoke a trucking company’s privileges. Fol-
`lowing a bench trial, the District Court held that neither
`§14501(c)(1) nor Castle prevents the Port from proceeding
`
`
`with any part of its Clean Truck Program.
`
`The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit mainly af-
`firmed. Most important for our purposes, the court held
`that §14501(c)(1) does not preempt the agreement’s plac-
`——————
`1ATA also contended that a separate provision, 49 U. S. C. §14506(a),
`preempts the agreement’s placard requirement. That section bars state
`and local governments from enacting or enforcing “any law, rule,
`regulation[,] standard, or other provision having the force and effect of
`
`law” that obligates a motor carrier to display any form of identification
`
`other than those the Secretary of Transportation has required. Ibid.
`The just-quoted language is the only part of §14506(a) disputed here,
`and it is materially identical to language in §14501(c)(1). We focus on
`§14501(c)(1) for ease of reference, but everything we say about that
`provision also applies to §14506(a).
`
`
`
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`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`

`
`
`Cite as: 569 U. S. ____ (2013)
`
`Opinion of the Court
`ard and parking requirements because they do not
`“‘ha[ve] the force and effect of law.’” 660 F. 3d 384, 395
`(2011) (quoting §14501(c)(1)). The court reasoned that
`those requirements, rather than regulating the drayage
`market, advance the Port’s own “business interest” in
`“managing its facilities.” Id., at 401. Both provisions were
`“designed to address [a] specific proprietary problem[]”—
`the need to “increase the community good-will necessary
`to facilitate Port expansion.” Id., at 406–407; see id., at
`
`409.
`The Ninth Circuit also held the agreement’s
`financial-capacity and truck-maintenance provisions not
` Section
`preempted, for reasons not relevant here.2
`14501(c)(1), the court decided, preempts only the contract’s
`employment provision. Finally, the Ninth Circuit rejected
`ATA’s claim that Castle bars the Port from applying the
`agreement’s penalty clause to withdraw a trucking com-
`pany’s right to operate at the facility. The court thought
`Castle inapplicable because of the narrower exclusion in
`this case: “Unlike a ban on using all of a State’s freeways,”
`the court reasoned, “a limitation on access to a single Port
`does not prohibit motor carriers” from generally partici-
`pating in interstate commerce. 660 F. 3d, at 403.
`We granted certiorari to resolve two questions: first,
`
`whether §14501(c)(1) of the FAAAA preempts the conces-
`sion agreement’s placard and parking provisions; and
`second, whether Castle precludes reliance on the agree-
`
`ment’s penalty clause to suspend or revoke a trucking
`company’s privileges. See 568 U. S. ___ (2013). Contrary
`to the Ninth Circuit, we hold that the placard and parking
`requirements are preempted as “provision[s] having the
`force and effect of law.” That determination does not
`——————
`2For those curious, the court held that the financial-capacity re-
`quirement is not “ ‘related to a [motor carrier’s] price, route, or service,’”
`
`
`and that the truck-maintenance requirement falls within a statutory
`
`
`exception for safety regulation. 660 F. 3d, at 395, 403–406 (quoting
`§14501(c)(1)); see §14501(c)(2)(A) (safety exception).
`
`
`
`5
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`6
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`
`
`AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSNS., INC. v. LOS ANGELES
`
`Opinion of the Court
`obviate the enforcement issue arising from Castle because
`the Ninth Circuit’s rulings upholding the agreement’s
`financial-capacity and truck-maintenance provisions have
`now become final;3 accordingly, the Port could try to apply
`its penalty provision to trucking companies that have
`violated those surviving requirements. But we nonethe-
`less decline to address the Castle question because the
`case’s pre-enforcement posture obscures the nature of the
`
`agreement’s remedial scheme, rendering any decision at
`
`this point a shot in the dark.
`
`II
`
`Section 14501(c)(1), once again, preempts a state “law,
`regulation, or other provision having the force and effect of
`law related to a price, route, or service of any motor car-
`
`rier . . . with respect to the transportation of property.” All
`parties agree that the Port’s placard and parking require-
`ments relate to a motor carrier’s price, route, or service
`with respect to transporting property. The only disputed
`
`question is whether those requirements “hav[e] the force
`and effect of law.” The Port claims that they do not, be-
`cause the “concession contract is just [like] a private
`
`agreement,” made to advance the Port’s commercial and
`“proprietary interests.” Brief for Respondent City of Los
`Angeles et al. 19 (Brief for City of Los Angeles) (internal
`
`quotation marks omitted).4
`——————
`3ATA’s petition for certiorari did not seek review of the Ninth Cir-
`cuit’s determination that the truck-maintenance provision is valid. The
`petition did ask us to consider the court’s ruling on the financial-
`capacity provision, but we declined to do so.
`
` 4The Port’s brief occasionally frames the issue differently—as whether
`a freestanding “market-participant exception” limits §14501(c)(1)’s
`express terms. See Brief for City of Los Angeles 24. But at oral argu-
`ment, the Port emphasized that the supposed exception it invoked in
`fact derives from §14501(c)(1)’s “force and effect of law” language. See
`Tr. of Oral Arg. 31 (“[W]hat we are calling the market participant
`
`
`exception . . . is generally congruent with[ ] what is meant by Congress
`
`
`
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`
`
`
`
`

`
`
`Cite as: 569 U. S. ____ (2013)
`
`Opinion of the Court
`We can agree with the Port on this premise: Section
`
`14501(c)(1) draws a rough line between a government’s
`exercise of regulatory authority and its own contract-based
`participation in a market. We recognized that distinction
`in American Airlines, Inc. v. Wolens, 513 U. S. 219 (1995),
`when we construed another statute’s near-identical “force
`and effect of law” language. That phrase, we stated, “con-
`notes official, government-imposed policies” prescribing
`“binding standards of conduct.” Id., at 229, n. 5 (internal
`quotation marks omitted). And we contrasted that quin-
`tessential regulatory action to “contractual commitment[s]
`voluntarily undertaken.” Id., at 229 (internal quotation
`marks omitted). In Wolens, we addressed a State’s en-
`forcement of an agreement between two private parties.
`But the same reasoning holds if the government enters
`into a contract just as a private party would—for example,
`if a State (or City or Port) signs an agreement with a
`trucking company to transport goods at a specified price.
`See, e.g., Building & Constr. Trades Council v. Associated
`
`
`Builders & Contractors of Mass./R. I., Inc., 507 U. S. 218,
`233 (1993) (When a State acts as a purchaser of services,
`“it does not ‘regulate’ the workings of the market . . . ;
`it exemplifies them” (some internal quotation marks
`omitted)). The “force and effect of law” language in
`§14501(c)(1) excludes such everyday contractual arrange-
`ments from the clause’s scope. That phrasing targets the
`State acting as a State, not as any market actor—or other-
`
`wise said, the State acting in a regulatory rather than
`proprietary mode.
`
`But that statutory reading gets the Port nothing, be-
`
`cause it exercised classic regulatory authority—complete
`——————
`by the term ‘force and effect of law’ ”); id., at 39–40 (“I’m . . . relying on
`
`the language . . . force and effect of law,” which “invites a market
`participant analysis”). We therefore have no occasion to consider
`whether or when a preemption clause lacking such language would
`except a state or local government’s proprietary actions.
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`7
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`

`
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`
`8
`
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`AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSNS., INC. v. LOS ANGELES
`
`Opinion of the Court
`with the use of criminal penalties—in imposing the plac-
`ard and parking requirements at issue here. Consider
`again how those requirements work. They are, to be sure,
`contained in contracts between the Port and trucking
`companies. But those contracts do not stand alone, as the
`result merely of the parties’ voluntary commitments. The
`Board of Harbor Commissioners aimed to “require parties
`who access Port land and terminals for purposes of pro-
`viding drayage services” to enter into concession agree-
`ments with the Port. App. 108 (Board’s “Findings”). And
`it accomplished that objective by amending the Port’s
`tariff—a form of municipal ordinance—to provide that “no
`Terminal Operator shall permit” a drayage truck to gain
`“access into any Terminal in the Port” unless the truck is
`“registered under” such a concession agreement. Id., at
`105. A violation of that tariff provision is a violation of
`criminal law. And it is punishable by a fine or a prison
`sentence of up to six months. Id., at 85–86. So the con-
`tract here functions as part and parcel of a governmental
`program wielding coercive power over private parties,
`
`backed by the threat of criminal punishment.
`
`That counts as action “having the force and effect of
`law” if anything does. The Port here has not acted as a
`private party, contracting in a way that the owner of an
`ordinary commercial enterprise could mimic. Rather, it
`has forced terminal operators—and through them, truck-
`ing companies—to alter their conduct by implementing a
`criminal prohibition punishable by time in prison. In
`some cases, the question whether governmental action has
`the force of law may pose difficulties; the line between
`regulatory and proprietary conduct has soft edges. But
`this case takes us nowhere near those uncertain bounda-
`ries. Contractual commitments resulting not from ordi-
`nary bargaining (as in Wolens), but instead from the
`
`threat of criminal sanctions manifest the government qua
`government, performing its prototypical regulatory role.
`
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`

`
`9
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` Cite as: 569 U. S. ____ (2013)
`
`Opinion of the Court
`The Port’s primary argument to the contrary, like the
`
`Ninth Circuit’s, focuses on motive rather than means. The
`Court of Appeals related how community opposition had
`frustrated the Port’s expansion, and concluded that the
`Clean Truck Program “respon[ded] to perceived business
`necessity.” 660 F. 3d, at 407. The Port tells the identical
`
`story, emphasizing that private companies have similar
`business incentives to “adopt[] ‘green growth’ plans like
`the Port’s.” Brief for City of Los Angeles 30. We have no
`reason to doubt that account of events; we can assume the
`Port acted to enhance goodwill and improve the odds of
`achieving its business plan—just as a private company
`
`might. But the Port’s intentions are not what matters.
`That is because, as we just described, the Port chose a tool
`to fulfill those goals which only a government can wield:
`the hammer of the criminal law. See United Haulers
`Assn., Inc. v. Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Mgmt. Auth.,
`
`438 F. 3d 150, 157 (CA2 2006), aff ’d, 550 U. S. 330 (2007).
`And when the government employs such a coercive mech-
`anism, available to no private party, it acts with the force
`
`and effect of law, whether or not it does so to turn a profit.
`Only if it forgoes the (distinctively governmental) exercise
`of legal authority may it escape §14501(c)(1)’s preemptive
`scope.
`
`The Port also tries another tack, reminding us that the
`criminal sanctions here fall on terminal operators alone,
`not on the trucking companies subject to the agreement’s
`requirements; hence, the Port maintains, the matter of
`“criminal penalties is a red herring.” Tr. of Oral Arg. 31;
`see Brief for City of Los Angeles 39–40. But we fail to see
`why the target of the sanctions makes any difference. The
`
`Port selected an indirect but wholly effective means of
`“requir[ing] parties . . . providing drayage services” to
`display placards and submit parking plans: To wit, the
`Port required terminal operators, on pain of criminal
`penalties, to insist that the truckers make those commit-
`
`
`
`
`
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`

`
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` 10
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`AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSNS., INC. v. LOS ANGELES
`
`Opinion of the Court
`ments. App. 108; see supra, at 3, 8. We have often rejected
`efforts by States to avoid preemption by shifting their
`regulatory focus from one company to another in the same
`supply chain. See, e.g., Rowe v. New Hampshire Motor
`
`Transp. Assn., 552 U. S. 364, 371–373 (2008) (finding
`preemption under the FAAAA although the State’s re-
`quirements directly targeted retailers rather than motor
`carriers); Engine Mfrs. Assn. v. South Coast Air Quality
`Management Dist., 541 U. S. 246, 255 (2004) (finding
`preemption under the Clean Air Act although the re-
`
`quirements directly targeted car buyers rather than
`sellers). The same goes here. The Port made its regula-
`tion of drayage trucks mandatory by imposing criminal
`penalties on the entities hiring all such trucks at the
`facility. Slice it or dice it any which way, the Port thus
`
`acted with the “force of law.”
`
`III
`
`Our rejection of the concession agreement’s placard and
`parking requirements does not conclude this case. Two
`other provisions of the agreement are now in effect: As
`noted earlier, the Ninth Circuit upheld the financial-
`capacity and truck-maintenance requirements, and that
`part of its decision has become final. See supra, at 5, and
`n. 2. ATA argues that our holding in Castle limits the way
`the Port can enforce those remaining requirements. Ac-
`cording to ATA, the Port may not rely on the agreement’s
`penalty provision to suspend or revoke the right of non-
`complying trucking companies to operate on the premises.
`
`As we have described, Castle rebuffed a State’s attempt
`
`to bar a federally licensed motor carrier from its highways
`for past infringements of state safety regulations. A fed-
`eral statute, we explained, gave a federal agency the
`authority to license interstate motor carriers, as well as a
`carefully circumscribed power to suspend or terminate
`
`those licenses for violations of law. That statute, we held,
`
`
`
`
`
`

`
`
`
` 11
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
` Cite as: 569 U. S. ____ (2013)
`
`Opinion of the Court
`implicitly prohibited a State from “tak[ing] action”—like a
`ban on the use of its highways—“amounting to a suspen-
`sion or revocation of an interstate carrier’s [federally]
`granted right to operate.” 348 U. S., at 63–64.
`
`The parties here dispute whether Castle restricts the
`
`Port’s remedial authority. The Port echoes the Ninth
`Circuit’s view that banning a truck from “all of a State’s
`freeways” is meaningfully different from denying it “access
`to a single Port.” 660 F. 3d, at 403; see Brief for City of
`
`Los Angeles 49. ATA responds that because the Port is a
`“crucial channel of interstate commerce,” Castle applies to
`it just as much as to roads. Brief for Petitioner 18.
`
`But we see another question here: Does the Port’s en-
`forcement scheme involve curtailing drayage trucks’ oper-
`ations in the way Castle prohibits, even assuming that
`
`
`decision applies to facilities like this one? As just indicat-
`ed, Castle puts limits on how a State or locality can punish
`an interstate motor carrier for prior violations of truck-
`ing regulations (like the concession agreement’s require-
`ments). Nothing we said there, however, prevents a State
`from taking off the road a vehicle that is contemporane-
`ously out of compliance with such regulations. Indeed,
`ATA filed an amicus brief in Castle explaining that a
`
`vehicle “that fails to comply with the state’s regulations
`may be barred from the state’s highways.” Brief for ATA,
`
`O. T 1954, No. 44, p. 12; see Brief for Respondent, id.,
`p. 23 (A State may “stop and prevent from continuing on
`the highway any motor vehicle which it finds not to be in
`compliance”). And ATA reiterates that view here, as does
`the United States as amicus curiae. See Reply Brief 22;
`
`Brief for United States 29–30. So the Port would not
`
`violate Castle if it barred a truck from operating at its
`facilities to prevent an ongoing violation of the agree-
`ment’s requirements.
`
`
`And at this juncture, we have no basis for finding that
`the Port will ever use the agreement’s penalty provision
`
`
`
`
`
`

`
`AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSNS., INC. v. LOS ANGELES
`
`Opinion of the Court
`for anything more than that. That provision, to be sure,
`might be read to give the Port broader authority: As noted
`earlier, the relevant text enables the Port to suspend
`or revoke a trucking company’s right to provide dray-
`age services at the facility as a “[r]emedy” for a “Major
`Default.” App. 82; see supra, at 3. But the agreement
`nowhere states what counts as a “Major Default”—and
`specifically, whether a company’s breach of the financial-
`capacity or truck-maintenance requirements would qual-
`ify. And the Port has in fact never used its suspension or
`revocation power to penalize a past violation of those
`
`requirements. See Tr. of Oral Arg. 43, 50–51. Indeed, the
`Port’s brief states that “it does not claim[] the authority to
`
`punish past, cured violations of the requirements chal-
`lenged here through suspension or revocation.” Brief for
`
`City of Los Angeles 62 (internal quotation marks omitted).
`So the kind of enforcement ATA fears, and believes incon-
`sistent with Castle, might never come to pass at all.
`
`In these circumstances, we decide not to decide ATA’s
`Castle-based challenge. That claim, by its nature, attacks
`the Port’s enforcement scheme. But given the pre-
`enforcement posture of this case, we cannot tell what that
`scheme entails. It might look like the one forbidden in
`Castle (as ATA anticipates), or else it might not (as the
`Port assures us). We see no reason to take a guess now
`about what the Port will do later. There will be time
`
`
`enough to address the Castle question when, if ever, the
`Port enforces its agreement in a way arguably violating
`that decision.
`
`
`
`
`
`IV
`
`Section 14501(c)(1) of the FAAAA preempts the placard
`
`and parking provisions of the Port’s concession agreement.
`We decline to decide on the present record ATA’s separate
`challenge, based on Castle, to that agreement’s penalty
`provision. Accordingly, the judgment of the Ninth Circuit
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
` 12
`
`
`

`
`
`
` 13
`
`
`
`
`It is so ordered.
`
`
`
` Cite as: 569 U. S. ____ (2013)
`
`Opinion of the Court
`is reversed in part, and the case is remanded for further
`
` proceedings consistent with this opinion.
`
`
`
`
`
`
`

`
`
`
`
`
` Cite as: 569 U. S. ____ (2013)
`
` THOMAS, J., concurring
`
`
`SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
`
`1
`
`_________________
`
` No. 11–798
`_________________
` AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSOCIATIONS, INC.,
`
`
`PETITIONER v. CITY OF LOS ANGELES,
`
`CALIFORNIA, ET AL.
`
`
`ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF
`
`
`APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
`
`[June 13, 2013]
`
`JUSTICE THOMAS, concurring.
`
`I join the Court’s opinion in full. I write separately to
`
`highlight a constitutional concern regarding §601 of the
`Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994
`(FAAAA), 108 Stat. 1606, a statute the Court has now
`considered twice this Term. See Dan’s City Used Cars,
`Inc. v. Pelkey, 569 U. S. ___ (2013).
`
`The Constitution grants Congress authority “[t]o regu-
`
`late Commerce . . . among the several States.” Art. I, §8,
`
`cl. 3 (emphasis added). Section 14501 of Title 49 is titled
`“Federal authority over intrastate transportation.” (Em-
`
`phasis added.) The tension between §14501 and the
`
`Constitution is apparent, because the Constitution does
`not give Congress power

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