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May 14, 1980 - Image 6

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1980-05-14

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Page 6-Wednesday, May 14, 1980-The Michigan Daily
Judge strikes
down Carter's
gasoline hike


From AP and UPI
WASHINGTON - A federal judge
yesterday blocked President Carter's
plan to impose a 10-cent-a-gallon
gasoline fee this week and congressmen
moved to -kill the price increase
White House press secretary' Jody
Powell announced the government will
immediately appeal the ruling and seek
an expedited hearing before the federal
circuit court of appeals.
POWELL ALSO said the government
will ask for a stay of at least part of the
ruling. But, in response to questions, he
could not say whether a stay, if gran-
ted, would permit collection of the tax
starting tomorrow. He said no decision
had been made on the scope of the stay
"The administration feels the
gasoline conservation fee is sound and
necessary," Powell said. And he said,
"We're certainly confident of our
ultimate legal position in this matter."
The striking down of Carter's
gasoline fee threw the Senate's
proposed $613.1 billion 1981 budget out
of balance and dealt a severe blow to
the drive to eliminate the federal
The.Senate had counted on $100
million of the fee's $10 billion revenues
to balance the budget for fiscal 1981,
which starts Oct. 1. Without that
money, the Senate's proposed spending
plan would show a $100 million deficit.
THE SENATE'S figures could be ad-
justed, however, in a congressional
conference working out a compromise
between the House and Senate versions.

The House did not count on the fee
money to balance its proposed $611.8
billion budget.
After the court's ruling was announ-
ced, Carter told a group of visiting
editors and broadcasters that the fee
was "extremely important for our
nation to maintain."
Carter's fee would be imposed on all
gasoline, whether it was refined from
domestic or imported oil, while the law
only gives the president the power to
regulate imported gasoline and crude
oil, Robinson said in a 12-page opinion.
THE JUDGE also said Carter, in his
plan, made improper use of the Trade
Expansion Act of 1962, which permits
the president to regulate importa that
reach levels high enough to threaten
national security.
"The rationale underlying Carter's
program thus reduces to the contention
that TEA empowers the president to
impose a 10-cent-a-gallon conservation
fee on all gasoline so as to lower
demand for the product. The TEA
provides no such authority."
Carter's plan was challenged by a
coalition of consumer groups,
petroleum marketers, an oil company,
and congressmen. The plan calls for oil
importers to pay the fee initially, with
gasoline refiners then reimbursing the
The judge called Carter's plan "an
attempt to circumvent that stumbling
block in the guise of an import control
measure. TEA alone does not sanction
this attempt to exercise authority that
has been deliberately withheld from the
president by Congress."
Robinson said if Carter had simply
imposed the fee on imported gasoline
and foreign crude oil, his action would
have been legal. But by imposing the
levy on all gasoline sales, Robinson
said, "any impact on imports will be
indirect and will result from the
general gasoline conservation fee, not
from the initial import fee."



FOUR PRISONERS, HANDCUFFED between two court officers, are led
down steps from a transit station to the nearby Charles Street Jail in Boston.
Court officers, dissatisfied with the high cost of transporting prisoners by
automobiles, have resorted to public transportation.
Some subway riders
wearing handcuffs


Daily Phone Numbers:
News and

BOSTON (AP) - Some of the
"straphangers" riding Boston subways
these days arewearing handcuffs.
They are prisoners being taken bet-
ween the jailhouse and court by bus and
subway in the custody of court officers.
OFFICERS AT Dorchester District
Court, a municipal court in a blue-
collar section of Boston, got miffed that
they were expected to transport
prisoners back and forth in their per-
sonal automobiles, since they are reim-
bursed only 17 cents a mile..
Until last week, the inmates were
ferried in two vans on loan from an anti-
delinquency program. But then the
vans had tv-r eturned to their owner.
'so thecout'officersavetu bed to

the subways and buses to transport ac-
cused burglars, drug pushers, and
other offenders from the city's two jails
for their day in court.
The court officers have been loading
their charges onto subways and buses
near the Charles Street jail and the
Deer Island House of Correction. So far,
11 inmates have made the commute
across the city.
SOME OF THE officers are not too
thrilled about the excursion.
Officer Richard Westmoreland noted
that the Shawmut subway stop is four
blocks from the court, and this means
walking through the neighborhood
where some of the inmates live.



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