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Janes v. Bridge

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

December 24, 2014

RIVA JANES, individually, BRUCE SCHWARTZ, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, ET AL., Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
TRIBOROUGH BRIDGE AND TUNNEL AUTHORITY, ET AL., Defendants-Appellees

Argued December 11, 2014.

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

This appeal presents the question of whether New York toll discounts for residents of certain locales violate the constitutional right to travel or the dormant Commerce Clause.

We hold, for substantially the reasons stated by the District Court (Paul A. Engelmayer, Judge), that the toll discount scheme at issue neither violates the constitutional right to travel nor the dormant Commerce Clause. Accordingly, the District Court's October 17, 2013, judgment is AFFIRMED.

SETH R. LESSER (Jeffrey A. Klafter, Klafter Olsen & Lesser LLP, Rye Brook, NY, Harley J. Schnall, Law Office of Harley J. Schnall, New York, NY, on the brief), Klafter Olsen & Lesser LLP, Rye Brook, NY, for Plaintiffs-Appellants.

WALTER RIEMAN (Steven C. Herzog, Joshua D. Kaye, on the brief), Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, New York, NY, for Defendants-Appellees.

Before: CABRANES, WESLEY, and HALL, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 1053

Per Curiam:

This appeal presents the question of whether New York toll discounts for residents of certain locales violate the constitutional right to travel[1] or the dormant Commerce Clause.[2]

We hold, for substantially the reasons stated by the District Court (Paul A. Engelmayer, Judge ), that the toll discount scheme at issue neither violates the constitutional right to travel nor the dormant Commerce Clause. Accordingly, the District Court's October 17, 2013, judgment is AFFIRMED .

BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs are residents of New Jersey and New York challenging a Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (" TBTA" ) program that provides discounted tolls to residents of Staten Island, the Rockaway Peninsula, and Broad Channel Island for crossings over certain bridges. The discounted tolls, called Resident Discounts, allow residents of Staten Island to pay a reduced rate on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which serves as the only direct vehicular artery connecting Staten Island with the rest of New York City. The Resident Discounts also allow residents of Rockaway and Broad Channel to pay a reduced rate when crossing the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge and the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Plaintiffs appeal from the District Court's October 17, 2013, judgment granting defendants' motion for summary judgment. The questions before us are ...


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