Joint Statement on BATFE Litigation, May 23, 2006 May 24, 2006 Web posted at: 12:47 PM EDT
(ROL Newswire) -- Acting in accordance with the United States Court of Appeals opinion, issued on February 10, 2006, which upheld our appeal and remanded the matter of the classification of APCP as an explosive back to the BATFE (and thus to the US District Court), Judge Reggie Walton issued an order for the parties to attend a hearing held on April20, 2006. The purpose of this hearing was, simply stated, for the BATFE to be directed by the District Court on how the remand from the Appellate Court would be handled.
The outcome of the hearing was very favorable to our position, in that the agency is being required to report on their plans and status in complying with the Appellate Court's mandate in an expeditious manner. During the hearing, BATFE counsel requested an open-ended timeframe for complying with the mandate, a request strongly objected to by our counsel, and rejected by Judge Walton. The court order resulting from this hearing states in part:
"..the defendant shall submit a status report to the Court and the plaintiffs by July 19, 2006, outlining the efforts it has taken to comply with the Circuit's mandate. Accordingly, this status report shall identify the laboratory selected by the defendant to perform the testing called for by the Circuit, how long this entity will take to complete the required analysis, and what additional tasks, if any, the defendant will have to complete to comply with the Circuit's mandate."
The complete text of the District Court order of April 20, 2006 can be found on the TRA and NAR websites.
As the court order indicates, BATFE will further be required to report on their rulemaking status (the completion of which has been repeatedly deferred by the agency), and will be required to appear at a status hearing on July 26, 2006. It is our belief that since this litigation has dragged on for such an extended period of time, is the most aged case on Judge Walton's docket, and the agency has shown little firm commitment to finalizing legal rulemaking, that the judge is unlikely to be tolerant of additional delays. Our counsel will continue to press for firm and speedy deadlines as the agency presents whatever plan of action they intend to pursue.
Again, our thanks to NAR and TRA members for the support you have rendered in this fight. As our case proceeds through this hopefully decisive phase, we need your continued financial support. We urge you to make a donation to the Legal Defense Fund today, in whatever amount you possibly can contribute. Your support and generosity will be recognized and acknowledged, and you'll be able to say "I supported the fight for an unregulated sport rocket hobby."
Ken Good, President Tripoli Rocketry Association Mark Bundick, President National Association of Rocketry
Source: TRA and NAR Joint Statement