Supreme Court Opens U.S. Roads to Mexican Trucks

In a victory for the Bush administration, the Supreme Court yesterday unanimously ruled that Mexican trucks can haul their goods throughout the U.S. even if the government hasn’t studied how their emissions would affect air quality. Enviro and labor groups and nine states had sought to prevent the trucks’ free access to U.S. roads, arguing that many Mexican trucks are old, highly polluting diesel models. Last year, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the trucks until U.S. officials studied the environmental impact they would have. But the Supreme Court threw out that ruling on Monday, saying the president has the power to enforce NAFTA, which calls for the unrestricted movement of commercial vehicles across borders. This paves the way for as many as 34,000 Mexican trucks to ply U.S. roads each year, which enviros and public health officials say is likely to worsen air pollution in areas near the U.S.-Mexico border.