Judicial Review of Surface Transportation Board Decisions: An Empirical Analysis

This article reports on a study of a judicial review conducted for the Surface Transportation Board (STB), a small federal agency whose actions impact the railroad industry. The STB maintains economic regulation of U.S. railroads, thus affecting railroad companies, rail shippers, and others affiliated with the rail industry. The author first reviews previous empirical studies of judicial review of STB actions and the conclusions reached by those reviewers. The next section outlines the features of STB jurisdiction that are relevant to any analysis of its decisions. Section III reports the methodology used in the present study and the results found, focusing on the affirmance rate for STB decisions as whole as well as affirmance rates by circuit, type of petitioner, type of case, and time period. In the final section, the author discusses his hypotheses regarding the results found and the implications of those hypotheses, notably for transportation practitioners. The author notes that STB’s actual success rate in ultimately withstanding judicial review is both higher than average circuit court decisions and potentially higher than even the 82% figure determined by this study.


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01708075
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 18 2019 3:18PM