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Department of Transportation v. Association of American Railroads

575 U.S. 43 (2015)

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Department of Transportation v. Association of American Railroads

United States Supreme Court

575 U.S. 43 (2015)

Facts

Congress passed the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) in order to streamline passenger-rail transportation. PRIIA included a number of standards that rail carriers were required to adhere to, including a cap on the duration of delays in each trip. Congress put Amtrak partially in charge of enforcing these rules. Amtrak could do so easily because it shared the tracks with the freight lines it regulated. The Association of American Railroads (AAR) (plaintiff) brought suit, claiming that the nondelegation doctrine was violated when Congress gave enforcement power to a private company. The Department of Transportation (DOT) (defendant) argued that Amtrak was actually a governmental entity. The circuit court ruled in favor of AAR, pointing to a statute that designated Amtrak as a private entity. The DOT appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)

Concurrence (Alito, J.)

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