Jim Johnston on OOIDA v. Minnesota State Patrol

By Jim JohnstonOOIDA President and CEO

Editor’s note: These comments are excerpts from Land Line Now Host Mark Reddig’s interview with OOIDA President Jim Johnston on Land Line Now Sirius XM satellite radio, Channel 106.

The injunction
“The Minnesota State Patrol is now permanently enjoined from violating trucker’s rights. … State enforcement agencies should not have to be ordered to that do that.”

“It is extremely unusual that a federal judge would enjoin a state police enforcement agency from anything, which should give an indication of just how outrageous their actions were.”

“The court is going to maintain supervision over this for two years, after the final order. Even after that, they have to follow the rules. If they don’t, we’ll be back there pointing that out to the court.”

The precedent
“This sets an important precedent in support of the driver’s constitutional rights, specifically in this case, to the fatigue issues. But it can also be expanded into other areas, anything that is beyond that Level III inspection. Level I, II or III, whatever it is, they are allowed an exception to Constitutional protections for the purpose of conducting safety inspections because trucking is a ‘highly regulated industry.’ That exception does not give them carte blanche to go beyond the specifics of the safety inspection to delve into anything else they may want to explore.”

“It’s certainly a precedent anywhere in the country. It’s a precedent specific to Minnesota in the decision itself; however, the judge certainly wrote it in a way it can be used in other courts to challenge similar inappropriate activities.”

Victim, villain, vindicator
“Truckers were told it was just a survey and they were not going to get in trouble. … That is what they told Stephen House. They got out their little checklist and then announced the driver was out of service. … They were deceptive in their questions – questions they should not even have been asking.”

“Victim, villain and vindicator – the cops are the vindicators, the public is the victim, and the trucker is the villain. That’s the picture they are trying to create with this kind of stuff. Which basically justifies anything they want to do in their own minds – not in ours and obviously not in the mind of the court, either.” LL