Golden State Transit Corporation v. City of Los Angeles

PETITIONER: Golden State Transit Corporation
RESPONDENT: City of Los Angeles
LOCATION: March Air Force Base

DOCKET NO.: 84-1644
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1981-1986)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 475 US 608 (1986)
ARGUED: Dec 04, 1985
DECIDED: Apr 01, 1986

ADVOCATES:
John Haggerty - on behalf of the Respondent
Zachary D. Fasman - on behalf of the Petitioner

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Golden State Transit Corporation v. City of Los Angeles

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 04, 1985 in Golden State Transit Corporation v. City of Los Angeles

John Haggerty:

This is a situation where the City was acting in response to an application by the Petitioner for a renewal franchise to replace its franchise about to expire.

The Court was asking counsel for the Petitioner about the City's franchising process.

The City does have a limited number of taxicab franchises.

Taxicab franchises are awarded initially through a bidding procedure when they are to be awarded.

Once a franchise is awarded, though, the city charter specifically provides that the City Council can in its discretion grant a renewal or replacement franchise to an existing franchisee.

Suppose, Mr. Haggerty, the City Council said, the only way to have labor peace in this town is to make a contract with the Teamsters Union.

Assume first that Golden State had no union contract at all.

The City Council said, the only way you can really have a continuity of service is to join up with the Teamsters Union and if you don't do it, you don't get... we don't renew your license.

Could they do that?

John Haggerty:

I think there would have to be some kind of substantial evidence to support the City Council's conclusion that that was necessary to have an effective--

Let's assume that that is, the record shows that that's probably correct.

John Haggerty:

--I would say yes, in that case.

The City Council can then require them to make a contract with the Teamsters Union?

John Haggerty:

I would say that if that is necessary to effectuate a transportation policy that the City Council could arguably make that a condition of the franchise.

It's not the situation we have here, Your Honor.

It was merely happenstance in this situation that the refranchising process... proceedings took place in a totally unrelated labor dispute.

The City in this situation was acting pursuant to its police powers, and it had to make a decision one way or the other.

It had an application for renewal franchise.

If it took no action whatsoever the franchise would expire by its own terms, so that consequently if they didn't act, as I said, there would be no franchise renewal.

You'd have the same result that we had here.

That may be so.

It depends on why they took no action.

Do you challenge the proposition that the reason the City didn't renew was because of the strike, because of the unsettled strike?

John Haggerty:

Your Honor, the record does not reflect that that was a reason of the City Council.

That gets into--

Do you challenge it or not?

My question to you, do you challenge it?

John Haggerty:

--The City's position was that was irrelevant.

The City never attempted to show--

My question, do you challenge that the City... do you challenge the fact that the City cancelled the franchise because of the strike?