Competitive Enterprise Institute v. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

956 F.2d 321 (1992)

From our private database of 46,000+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

Competitive Enterprise Institute v. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
956 F.2d 321 (1992)

Facts

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) (defendant) had the authority to regulate the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard for motor vehicles produced by manufacturers. Pursuant to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), manufacturers were held to the standard of 27.5 miles per gallon (mpg) for car models made in 1985 and each subsequent model year. NHTSA had the discretion to change the CAFE standard each year. The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) (plaintiff) urged NHTSA to lower the CAFE standard, asserting that for manufacturers to produce larger, safer cars under the 27.5-mpg standard would not be economically feasible. NHTSA agreed to lower the CAFE standard to 26.5 mpg in 1989. NHTSA reinstituted the EPCA’s 27.5-mpg standard for 1990 without providing any genuine explanation for that decision. NHTSA also did not consider whether the intended fuel savings from the higher standard outweighed the safety risks associated with having a short supply of larger cars available to consumers. No dispute was presented that larger cars were generally safer than smaller cars. CEI petitioned the court to review NHTSA’s decision, arguing that the higher fuel-economy standard would force car makers to produce smaller, less safe cars and make affording larger, safer cars more difficult for consumers.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Williams, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 742,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 742,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 46,000 briefs, keyed to 986 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 742,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 46,000 briefs - keyed to 986 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership