August 27, 2010

An operator of two Minneapolis cab companies filed a constitutional challenge to City of Minneapolis ordinances requiring the companies to have 5 percent of its fleet be fuel efficient by 2007.

The operator testified at a hearing opposing the ordinance.  Other witnesses supported the fuel-efficiency requirement because it would curb vehicle emissions and fight smog.

In January 2008 the operator was cited by the City for violating the provision.  At a hearing the operator argued the ordinance violated constitutional substantive due process.  A hearing officer affirmed the citations and noted he had no authority to determine the constitutionality of the ordinance.

The operator filed an appeal with the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  The Court of Appeals found that the purpose behind the fuel efficient vehicle ordinance is environmental sustainability.  The Court of Appeals found that the operator failed to produce evidence demonstrating the fuel efficiency requirement lacked a rational relationship to the City’s sustainability objective.  A copy of the Minnesota Court of Appeals decision is found at:

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