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from the coordinated program proposed, we recommend enactment of H.R. 13228.
We are advised by the Bureau of the Budget that there is no objection to the presentation of this report from the standpoint of the administration's program. Sincerely,
William J. COHEN,
OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL,
Washington, D.C., June 22, 1966. Hon. HARLEY 0. STAGGERS, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This is in response to your request for the views of the Department of Justice on H.R. 13228, the Traffic Safety Act of 1966.
The bill would centralize responsibility for promoting national automobile and highway safety in the proposed Secretary of Transportation. Authority under existing statutes relating to highway safety, revoked motor vehicle operator permits, and brake fluid and seat belt standards would be transferred from the Secretary of Commerce to the Secretary of Transportation, and the statutes themselves repealed and reenacted in codified form. Existing regulations under such statutes would, however, be continued under the new act, until modified or terminated by the Secretary of Transportation.
New authority conferred by the bill relates to the imposition of safety standards for motor vehicles. It would authorize the Secretary of Transportation to undertake programs for research and development in motor vehicle safety, and provide for appropriations and contracting authority relating thereto. After 2 years from enactment of this bill, the Secretary would be authorized to promulgate Federal inotor vehicle safety standards if, in his view, then-existing public and private standards were inadequate or ineffective. After the effective date of such standards, the bill would prohibit manufacture, import, sale or delivery of any vehicle not conforming thereto, other than sale by an owner who did not originally purchase the vehicle for resale, or sale for export. Remedies prescribed for violation include a civil penalty of $1,000 for each violation, civil action to enjoin violation, with provision for criminal contempt proceedings for violation of such an injunction, and proceedings on libel of information for seizure of vehicles or equipment in interstate commerce which are in violation of such standards.
From the point of view of the Department of Justice, the objectives of H.R. 13228 appear to be meritorious an we recommend enactment of this proposed legislation which is designed to achieve these objectives. As the bill is now written, definitive action by the Secretary in promulgating standards requires as a condition precedent that existing standards, whether public or private, be found by him to be inadequate. We join in the recommendation of the Department of Commerce that the proposed bill be amended to state that the Secretary is required to promulgate standards since we believe that this is essential to achieve the uniform, nationwide standards contemplated by the bill.
We believe that H.R. 13228 should clearly state that the Secretary has power to undertake research and development of experimental automobiles. In view of the highly concentrated structure of the industry, this additional source of research and innovation would be valuable.
Section 105 of the bill provides broad authority in the Secretary of Transportation to obtain advice and cooperation from other Federal and State agencies, academic institutions and private businesses, in the development of safety standards and testing equipment. Particularly, the section authorizes the Secretary to
* * * enter into cooperative agreements with * * * busi
nesses * * for such development.
We note that Executive Order No. 11007 (Feb. 26, 1962, 3 CFR, 1962 Supp.) applies to the formation and use of such industry advisory and other groups by departments and agencies of the executive branch. We also note that the proposed legislation does not purport, directly or indirectly, to offer immunity for any activity violating the antitrust laws and any such violation would be subject to enforcement proceedings under those laws. We agree that no such immunity is warranted.
With respect to certain details of the bill, we attach some suggested perfecting amendments for the committee's consideration.
The Bureau of the Budget has advised that there is no objection to the submission of this report from the standpoint of the administration's program. Sincerely,
RAMSEY CLARK, Deputy Attorney General.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE VIEMORANDUM OF SUGGESTED
AMENDMENTS TO H.R. 13228
With respect to H.R. 13228, we would like to call to the attention of your committee the following suggestions concerning particular provisions of the bill:
(1) Section 101(e) defines "State” as “any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or possession of the United States." Under proposed new 23 U.S.C. 404(c) (appearing in title III of the bill), "State" is defined to include “each of the several States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Virgin Islands, the Canal Zone, and American Samoa." We recognize that these two definitions appear under different titles of the bill, but we are concerned that the coverage of the term “territory or possession" in section 101(e) may be uncertain, particularly in view of the more specific definition of “State” in section 404(c). The Department of Justice favors provisions, such as section 404 (c), that spell out with particularity exactly where the involved legislation is to apply.
(2) Between sections 107 and 108, we would suggest adding a new section along the following lines:
DEFINITIONS: JURISDICTION AND VENUE
“(a) As used in this section and in sections 108, 109 and 110 of this title, the term, “United States district courts” includes the federal district courts of the United States and the United States courts of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, the Canal Zone, and American Samoa.
“(b) Actions under sections 108(a) and 109(a) may be brought in the district wherein any act or transaction constituting the violation occurred, or in the district wherein the defendant is found or is an inhabitant or transacts business, and process in such cases may be served in any other district of which the defendant is an inhabitant or wherever the defendant may be found.
"(c) In actions brought under sections 108(a), 109(a), and 110(a), subpoenas for witnesses who are required to attend a United States district court may run into any other district."
In accord with proposed new subsection (a) set forth above, we would suggest three additional changes in the language of the bill. After the word "penalty” in section 108(a), there should be inserted the clause, “which may be recoverable in a civil action brought by the Attorney General in a United States district court in the name of the United States, ***" The words, "and the United States courts of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the territories and possessions” should be eliminated from section 109(a). The words, "and in any United States court for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or the territories and possessions” should similarly be eliminated from section 110(a). In accord with proposed new subsection (c), section 109(c) should be eliminated entirely. (We also believe that "on" should be substituted for “or” in section 110(a) at line 15, p. 15.)
The phrase, "brought by the Attorney General," is added to conform to similar language in section 109(a), as proposed to be changed. The phrase, “in the name of the United States," as it appears in the clause proposed above for insertion after the word, "penalty" in section 108(a), is suggested by a similar amendment of July 7, 1965, to 18 U.S.C. 35(a) (H.R. 6848, Public Law 89-64, 79 Stat. 210), and by the explicit designations of the United States as sole party plaintiff in sections 109(a) and 110(a) of H.R. 13228. A similar designation in section 108(a) would make it clear that a suit under this section, wherever it was filed, could be brought only in the name of the United States, and that the proceeds of any penalty imposed under this section would always belong to the United States.
The provisions of suggested new subsections (a) and (c), set forth above, constitute several minor perfecting amendments to the bill. They would identify further what courts shall have jurisdiction over proceedings instituted under section 108(a); extend to such proceedings the provisions for extraterritorial service of subpena in section 109(c); and
meaning of and 110(a):
identify clearly the meaning of "territories and possessions" as it appears in sections 109(a) and 110(a).
Suggested new subsection (b) is patterned closely after the liberal venue and process provisions that appear in the Securities Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C. 78aa; the Securities Act, 15 U.S.C. 77v; the Investment Company Act, 15 U.S.C. 80a-43; and the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 22. If comparable provisions were not to be incorporated into H.R. 13228, venue in actions under section 108(a) would be determined by 28 U.S.C. 1395, which provides that a civil action for recovery of a pecuniary penalty may be brought either in the district where the action accrues or in the district where the defendant is found. But that choice of forum may be narrowed, in practice, by rule 4(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which provides that for purposes of jurisdiction, service of process may not take place beyond the territorial limits of the State in which the district court is held, unless service beyond those limits is specifically authorized by a statute of the United States. As the Supreme Court said in Georgia v. Pennsylvania Ry. Co., 324 U.S. 439, 467 (1944): "Apart from specific exceptions created by Congress the jurisdiction of the district courts is territorial."
If provisions along the lines of those appearing in suggested new subsection (b) were not to be incorporated into H.R. 13228, venue in actions under section 109(a) would be determined by U.S.C. 1391(b). This subsection would permit actions under section 109(a) to be brought "only in the judicial district where all defendants reside, except as otherwise provided by law."
If, however, your committee were to adopt language along the lines of proposed new subsection (b), a proceeding under either section 108(a) or 109(a) could be instituted in the district where it would be most convenient to try the case-for instance, in the district of a U.S. port of entryeven if this were not always a district in which the defendant, or in which all defendants who should be made parties to such a proceeding, could be found.
(3) Section 109(a) provides for injunctions to restrain violations of title I "upon petition by the appropriate United States Attorney or the Attorney General * * *" It is suggested that this phrase be amended to read, "upon petition by the Attorney General * * *." The reason for this suggestion is that under the provisions of Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1950, all functions of the U.S. attorneys were transferred to the Attorney General.
(4) Section 103(a)(6) provides that the remedies provided for in section 103(a), relating to judicial review of orders, "shall be in addition to and not in substitution for any other remedies provided by law." We recommend that the following be added at the end of the quoted language: “which may be available to a defendant in an enforcement proceeding brought on behalf of the United States.” The proposed addition would eliminate the potentiality for a multiplicity of suits in various Federal district courts seeking to enjoin the implementation of Federal standards, apart from an enforcement proceeding.
CAANGES IN EXISTING Law MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED
In compliance with clause 3 of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is proposed is shown in roman):
ACT APPROVED SEPTEMBER 5, 1962 (76 STAT. 437; 15 U.S.C.
1301 NOTE) CAN ACT To provide that hydraulic brake fluid sold or shipped in commerce for use in motor vehicles shall meet certain specifications prescribed by the Secretary of Commerce.
[Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act the Secretary of Commerce shall prescribe and publish in the Federal Register specifications for hydraulic brake fluids for use in motor vehicles. The standards so published shall provide the public with safe and efficient hydraulic Huids for motor vehicle hydraulic braking systems in order to promote highway safety.
(SEC. 2. (a) The manufacture for sale, the sale, or the offering for sale, in commerce, or the importation into the United States, or the introduction, delivery for introduction, transportation or causing to be transported in, commerce, or for the purpose of sale, or delivery after sale, in commerce, of any such hydraulic brake fluid which does not meet the specifications prescribed by the Secretary of Commerce as set forth in the first section of this Act shall be unlawful.
[(b) Whoever knowingly and willfully violates this section shall be fined not more than $1,000, or imprisoned not more than one year or both.
[SEC. 3. As used in this Act
[(1) The term “commerce" means (A) commerce between any place in a State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a possession of the United States and any place outside thereof, and (B) commerce wholly within the District of Columbia or any such possession; and
[(2) The term "motor vehicle" means any vehicle or machine propelled or drawn by mechanical power and used on the highways.
[Sec. 4. This Act shall take effect on the date of its enactment except that section 2 shall take effect on such date as the Secretary of Commerce shall determine but such date shall be not more than ninety days after the date of publication of specifications first established under the first section of this Act. If such specifications first established are thereafter changed, such standards as so changed shall take effect on such date as the Secretary of Commerce shall determine but such date shall be not more than ninety days after the date of their publication in accordance with the provisions of the first section of this Act.]