Moira Heiges-Goepfert, an Outten & Golden LLP attorney who represents California workers, said the case sets up an opportunity for the justices to explain just how much of an impact a state law needs to have on motor carriers to trigger FAAAA preemption.
"It's a perfect policy question," she said. "What does 'related to' mean?"
"The Ninth Circuit is saying the state law has to be pretty closely related to a price, route, or service, a very specific interpretation," she said. "Whereas the First Circuit has taken a much broader view and said anything that has a significant impact on routes or prices or service would be enough to be preempted."