Columbus v. Ours Garage & Wrecker Service, Inc., 536 U.S. 424, 21 (2002)

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Scalia, J., dissenting

enact or enforce a law, regulation, or other provision, with respect to the intrastate transportation of property by motor carriers, related to—[inter alia] uniform cargo liability rules, . . . if such law, regulation, or provision meets the requirements of subparagraph (B)." 14501(c)(2), (3) (emphases added).

It is impossible to read this text without being struck by the fact that the term "political subdivision of a State" is added to the term "State" in some of the exceptions, 14501(c)(2)(C), (c)(3), but not in the exception at issue here, 14501(c)(2)(A). " '[W]here Congress includes particular language in one section of a statute but omits it in another section of the same Act, it is generally presumed that Congress acts intentionally and purposely in the disparate inclusion or exclusion.' " Russello v. United States, 464 U. S. 16, 23 (1983). The only way to impart some purpose and intent here is to assume that the word "State" is used in its narrower sense, so that political subdivisions are not covered by the term. The Court admits that the rule applied in Russello "support[s] an argument of some force," ante, at 434, that the exception for the "safety regulatory authority of a State" does not include local safety regulation.

But while the Russello argument is strong, it alone does not fully describe the clarity with which 14501(c)(2)(A) excludes political subdivisions. For the clarity begins not just with the various exceptions, but with the very preemption rule to which the exceptions are appended. That rule reads:

"Except as provided [in 14501(c)(2), (3)], a State, political subdivision of a State, or political authority of 2 or more States may not enact or enforce a law, regulation, or other provision having the force and effect of law related to a price, route, or service of any motor carrier . . . or any motor private carrier, broker, or freight forwarder with respect to the transportation of property." 49 U. S. C. 14501(c)(1).

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