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Appeals court affirms ruling against Maine restriction on Canadian logging truck drivers

Maine Logging
Robert F. Bukaty
A Canadian log hauling truck travels north towards Canada on Rte. 201, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, near The Forks, Maine.

A federal appeals court has affirmed a ruling that blocked a Maine law restricting Canadian logging truck driver operations in Maine.

The law, passed by the legislature last year, would have forbidden companies and large forest land owners from hiring non-U.S. residents to drive wood products from one location in Maine to another.

The legislation was intended to restrict foreign workers, under the federal H-2A visa program, from transporting Maine forest products within the state. Democratic Sen. Troy Jackson argued that the use of foreign labor is an "injustice" that is harming Maine workers.

But representatives of the forest products industry sued the state over the law, saying it violates the constitution's Equal Protection Clause. A district court judge granted a preliminary injunction against the law earlier this year. And an appeals court agreed this week, saying that the law's restrictions are "likely preempted by federal law."