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Train v. City of New York

Petition For A Writ Of Certiorari

The Supreme Court granted Train's request for a review, a process called a petition for a writ of certiorari. Train maintained that the language of section 205 (a) setting forth the disbursement duties of the administrator provides for a maximum dollar amount, not a minimum to be provided to the states. As evidence, he quoted the original legislation, which stated that: "all sums authorized to be appropriated pursuant to [section 207] . . . shall be allotted by the Administrator." In the legislation actually enacted into law as the 1972 amendments, the word "all" was deleted. Train argued that the omission of the word all meant that he need not allot the maximum amounts. During the Supreme Court review, Justice White wrote in the opinion of the Court:

The Administrator's arguments based on the statutory language and its legislative history are unpersuasive . . . It appears to us that the word `sums' has no different meaning and can be ascribed no different function in the context of [section] 205 than would the words `all sums.'

In affirming the court of appeals decision, the Supreme Court also found that the legislative text did not provide for executive intervention. Although the wording of the amendments was altered slightly from first draft to enactment, this was not sufficient justification for President Nixon's directive concerning diminished financial assistance. Justice White opined, "we cannot accept the . . . deletion of the one word from [section] 205 (a) as altering the entire complexion and thrust of the Act." Thus, Train was responsible for disbursing the maximum amounts described in the 1972 amendments of the Water Pollution Control Act to the city of New York.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980Train v. City of New York - Significance, Petition For A Writ Of Certiorari, The Environmental Protection Agency