A federal appeals court has once again ruled that Congress can't give Amtrak power to impose rail standards on other private railroads.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Friday it is unconstitutional to give a "self-interested" company regulatory power over competitors — even if Amtrak is a public-private hybrid.
The court was considering the case for a second time. It had ruled against Amtrak in 2013 after finding that it was a private corporation. But the Supreme Court sent the case back, telling the lower court to consider that Amtrak was created by Congress with heavy government oversight and public subsidies.
The appeals court said even if Amtrak is public, it's still trying to maximize profits and can't be given regulatory authority.