The federal court has stayed that proceeding pending resolution of the instant case. We first determine whether Congress directly spoke to the precise question in issue. American filed a request to intervene and a request to file an intervenor's brief that conditionally supports DOT's ruling on the use agreement issue. 15(d), and American has not shown that we should treat its proposed intervenor brief as a supplemental brief under 5th Circuit Local Rule 28.5. There, DOT essentially agreed with an earlier CAB ruling that an air carrier could not “evade the [Wright] Amendment's restrictions by providing flights, for example, between Love Field and Houston and then continuing the flights between Houston and points outside the five-state area.” 1985 WL 57886, at *11(citation omitted).At the urging of several of the parties, and while both the federal and state actions were pending, DOT initiated the interpretative proceeding that is the subject of this petition for review. If the intent of Congress is clear, then we, and the agency, must give effect to the unambiguously expressed intent of Congress. Legend subsequently moved to strike American's proposed intervenor brief. Accordingly, we DENY American's motions to intervene and to file a brief as an intervenor and DENY as moot Legend's motion to strike American's intervenor brief.21. We agree with DOT that its previous interpretation can be distinguished on the grounds that DOT premised its earlier order on an interpretation of section (c)(2) of the Wright Amendment, whereas the agency's decision here relies primarily on an interpretation of section (a). DOT ultimately issued a “Declaratory Order” resolving the five questions it had set forth.
DOT issued an order informing the parties in this action that it intended to rule on four “federal law issues” and allowing the parties an opportunity to submit comments on these issues. American's request to intervene is untimely, see Fed. Earlier versions of the use agreements and the original letter agreements contain similar language.22.
Subsequently, in response to the parties' initial comments, DOT issued a procedural order which, inter alia, granted the DFW Board's request to resolve a fifth legal issue and granted several parties' request for an extension of time in which to file comments. Thus, this case is distinguishable from the Supreme Court's recent decision in Wolens, where the Court addressed a class action by passengers against an airline over changes the airline made to its air-miles program.
The Fort Worth Petitioners, on the other hand, argue that the exemption in subparagraph (a)(2) of the Wright Amendment applies only to “commuter aircrafts” and not to regional jets. The airline signatories cannot “waive” this preemption because there is no indication that the federal preemption is limited to granting them individual rights. Subsection (c) of the Amendment permits flights between Love Field and any point in Texas or one of the four contiguous states (later expanded to seven) on any size aircraft as long as “(1) such air carrier does not offer or provide any through service or ticketing with another air carrier or foreign air carrier, and (2) such air carrier does not offer for sale transportation to or from, and the flight or aircraft does not serve, any point which is outside any such State.” § 29, 94 Stat. DOT interpreted subsection (a)(2) as authorizing the service offered by Continental Express.
Finding that § 1738 does not apply to agencies does not end our inquiry, however, as courts “have frequently fashioned federal common-law rules of preclusion in the absence of a governing statute.” Id. Legend and Continental Express agree with this interpretation. Section 41713 does not expressly announce affirmative rights for airlines, but instead bars states from regulating in certain areas. As discussed above, subsection (a)(2) of the Wright Amendment excludes from section (a)'s general prohibition against interstate transportation flights out of Love Field that are operated on an aircraft with a capacity of 56 passengers or less.
II We have jurisdiction to review DOT's declaratory order by this petition for review. Our review of DOT's interpretation of the statutes it is charged with administering is governed by the two-step standard of review established in Chevron, U.
Agencies have discretion to choose between adjudication and rulemaking as a means of setting policy. Consequently, Fort Worth, the DFW Board, and American (collectively “Fort Worth petitioners”) ask us to reverse DOT's action because (1) DOT violated the full faith and credit statute, 28 U. DOT rejected these arguments in its earlier rulings, but we do not defer to DOT's ruling on these issues. § 1738, generally requires federal courts to grant preclusive effect to state court judgments: “[t]he records and judicial proceedings of any court of any ․ State ․ shall have the same full faith and credit in every court within the United States ․ as they have by law or usage in the courts of such State ․ from which they are taken.” Id. Furthermore, to impose such a definition would essentially penalize those airlines who chose to update their technology as the airline industry advanced over the past twenty years. DOT grounds its ruling largely on the argument that by imposing an express restriction on through service on large jets operating under subsection (c)(2) but declining to impose a similar restriction on commuter planes operating under section (a)(2), Congress was evincing its intent to permit small aircrafts to fly without such a restriction. Accordingly, we affirm DOT's ruling as a reasonable interpretation of the Wright Amendment. We reject the Fort Worth petitioners' invocation of the so-called Rooker-Feldman doctrine for the same reasons. The Committee does not cite any contrary authority in its reply brief.13. Similarly, because § 9.5 of the Bond Ordinance has been enforced so as to allow the range of flights permitted under the Wright Amendment, it effectively operates as a perimeter rule.14. Parker (argued), Southwest Airlines Co., Dallas, TX, for Southwest Airlines Co. Blackman, Richard Karl Simon, Mc Dermott, Will & Emery, Los Angeles, CA, for Airports Council Intern., North America and American Ass'n of Airport Executives, Amicus Curiae. Goldman, Bagileo, Silverberg & Gildman, LLP, Washington, DC, for Dallas-Fort Worth Intern. This consolidated appeal involves respondent Department of Transportation's (“DOT's”) interpretation of federal law governing airline service at Love Field airport. The cities responded by creating the DFW Board and by jointly adopting the 1968 Regional Airport Concurrent Bond Ordinance (the “Ordinance”). The more rational view is that the term “operating aircraft with a passenger capacity of 56 passengers or less” as defined by the Shelby Amendment, defines the term “commuter airlines” so as to include all planes weighing less than 300,000 pounds, including regional jets, with a passenger capacity of less than 57. Ed.2d 565 (1993), the Supreme Court held that a labor contract was not preempted by the National Labor Relations Act because it was not “government regulation” but rather “constitute[d] proprietary conduct.” Id. 48), the term “passenger capacity of 56 passengers or less” includes any aircraft, except aircraft exceeding gross aircraft weight of 300,000 pounds, reconfigured to accommodate 56 or fewer passengers if the total number of passenger seats installed on the aircraft does not exceed 56.(b) INCLUSION OF CERTAIN STATES IN EXEMPTION.-The first sentence of section 29(c) of the International Air Transportation Competition Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-192; 94 Stat. We cannot conclude with certainty whether these cases relied on § 1738. Continental Diving Servs., Inc., 831 F.2d 559, 561 (5th Cir.1987). In relying on City of Houston for support, the Fort Worth Petitioners overlook the fact that we explicitly avoided engaging in a full analysis of the preemption provision in that case. Faberman (argued), Ungaretti & Harris, Washington, DC, for Legend Airlines. Wilson, Houston, TX, Emery Lawrence Vincent, Susman Godfrey, Dallas, TX, for Continental Express. Kneisley, Washington, DC, Michael Byrd, Dallas, TX, James F. Bittle (argued), Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, Dallas, TX, for City of Dallas, TX. Harris (argued), Andrews & Kurth, Dallas, TX, for Love Field Citizens Action Committee. Jonathan Glen Kerr (argued), Joseph Wilson Spence, Steven James Graham, Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, Fort Worth, TX, Michael J. Accordingly, in 1964 CAB ordered the cities to build a jointly-operated airport that would serve as the region's primary airport. The City of Fort Worth's contention that “the Shelby Amendment merely permits the use of reconfigured jet aircraft if the aircraft otherwise qualifies as a commuter aircraft” is nonsensical since, under its own definition of a “commuter airline,” a reconfigured jet would never qualify as a commuter plane. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to give authority not otherwise provided by law to the Secretary of Transportation, the Civil Aeronautics Board, any other officer or employee of the United States, or any other person.(d) This section shall not take effect if enacted after the enactment of the Aviation Safety and Noise Abatement Act of 1979. The Shelby Amendment provides in its entirety that:(a) IN GENERAL.-For purposes of the exception set forth in section 29(a)(2) of the International Air Transportation Competition Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-192; 94 Stat. Cl.1979), the court cited Torres and stated: “Section 1738 of 28 U. Administrative bodies of the United States as well as courts are required to adhere to this requirement.” Id. The court did not clearly indicate that it based its holding on § 1738, as opposed to merely analogizing to § 1738. As we have previously noted, the Rooker-Feldman doctrine is “very close if not identical to the more familiar principle that a federal court must give full faith and credit to a state court judgment.” Gauthier v. In that case, the FAA enacted the rule as a means of limiting traffic at National, preserving the short-haul status of National, and assuring the utilization of the flagging Dulles Airport nearby. (argued), Crowell & Moring, Washington, DC, Randall W. (argued), Brian Scott Stagner, Kelly, Hart & Hallman, Fort Worth, TX, for City of Fort Worth. IPrior to 1968, Dallas and Fort Worth operated independent and competing airports. DOT's predecessor agency, the Civil Aeronautics Board (“CAB”), found that the competition between Dallas's and Fort Worth's airports was harmful. See American Forest and Paper Ass'n, 137 F.3d at 297.1 The full faith and credit statute, 28 U. The plain language of this section establishes that it does not apply here: § 1738 applies only to “every court within the United States,” and DOT is an agency, not a “court.” Id. The only other circuit to address fully this issue agrees with this reading of § 1738. Yellow Freight Systems, Inc., 930 F.2d 316, 320 (3d Cir.1991) (finding that the NLRB, by virtue of its status as an agency rather than a court, was not required to give full faith and credit to an earlier state court judgment); cf. Second, the Fort Worth Petitioners' definition of a “commuter airline” essentially renders the Shelby Amendment meaningless. More recently, in Cardinal Towing & Auto Repair, Inc. City of Bedford, Texas, 180 F.3d 686 (5th Cir.1999), we considered whether a municipal ordinance and a contract entered into pursuant to that ordinance were preempted as “law[s], regulation[s], or other provision[s] having the force and effect of law.” Id. Analyzing the contract and the ordinance in the same manner, we held that neither was preempted because both were valid exercises of proprietary power rather than impermissible attempts to regulate. We view this reading of the amendment as reasonable and not inconsistent with a statutory scheme aimed at preserving Love Field as a primarily shorthaul facility while still allowing some longhaul service. VFor the foregoing reasons, we DENY the petitions for review and AFFIRM DOT's orders. In its entirety, the Wright Amendment states:(a) Except as provided in subsection (c), notwithstanding any other provision of law, neither the Secretary of Transportation, the Civil Aeronautics Board, nor any other officer or employee of the United States shall issue, reissue, amend, revise, or otherwise modify (either by action or inaction) any certificate or other authority to permit or otherwise authorize any person to provide the transportation of individuals, by air, as a common carrier for compensation or hire between Love Field, Texas, and one or more points outside the State of Texas, except (1) charter air transportation not to exceed ten flights per month, and (2) air transportation provided by commuter airlines operating aircraft with a passenger capacity of 56 passengers or less.(b) Except as provided in subsections (a) and (c), notwithstanding any other provision of law, or any certificate or other authority heretofore or hereafter issued thereunder, no person shall provide or offer to provide the transportation of individuals, by air, for compensation or hire as a common carrier between Love Field, Texas, and one or more points outside the State of Texas, except that a person providing service to a point outside of Texas from Love Field on November 1, 1979 may continue to provide service to such point.(c) Subsections (a) and (b) shall not apply with respect to, and it is found consistent with the public convenience and necessity to authorize, transportation of individuals, by air, on a flight between Love Field, Texas, and one or more points within the States of Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas by an air carrier, if (1) such air carrier does not offer or provide any through service or ticketing with another air carrier or foreign air carrier, and (2) such air carrier does not offer for sale transportation to or from, and the flight or aircraft does not serve, any point which is outside any such State. imposes on a federal court presented with a state court judgment the same force and conclusive effect as it has in the state in which it is rendered. “In a nutshell, the doctrine holds that inferior federal courts do not have the power to modify or reverse state court judgments.” Matter of Reitnauer, 152 F.3d 341, 343 (5th Cir.1998) (applying the doctrine where “[t]he district court ․ made apparent its displeasure with the manner in which the state court interpreted and applied state law [and] such displeasure formed the basis for its reversal of the bankruptcy court's order”). An airport perimeter rule “establish[es] maximum permissible distances of non-stop flights into and out of a given airport.” See Jonathan Whitman Cross, Airport Perimeter Rules: An Exception to Federal Preemption, 17 Transp. In City of Houston, we touched upon the proprietary rights exception when we upheld the FAA's authority to enact a 1,000-mile perimeter rule at Washington National Airport.This prompted Congress to intervene by enacting the Wright Amendment. The DOT opinion was mooted by the 1997 passage of the “Shelby Amendment” (collectively with the Wright Amendment, the “Love Field amendments”). Legend has announced plans to offer longhaul service to states outside the Love Field service area using large aircraft reconfigured to have less than 57 seats. We exercise plenary review over whether DOT complied with applicable procedures. In contrast, passenger flights on planes of all sizes have long been permitted at Love Field.16. Instead, it seems that they entered into the use agreements to implement an agreement between the cities to regulate airport use in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.23. Second, the parties were effectively on notice of this issue since it was one that they could reasonably expect to arise given the issues of which DOT gave notice. We also note the absence of anything in the record to indicate that Fort Worth possesses any information bearing on the impact of increased service at Love Field. § 706 (in reviewing an agency determination, “due account shall be taken of the rule of prejudicial error”); Friends of Iwo Jima v. DOT responded at one point with a written letter answering four questions posed by Continental. See Texas, 866 F.2d at 1550 (finding that an individual's request for the Interstate Commerce Commission to intervene in a pending state action was not an ex parte communication because it did not involve the merits of the case). Cir.1986) (“We agree with the FERC, though, that ‘[t]he fact that the state court ruled on the same issue, regardless whether its ruling agreed with the Commission's ruling, does not affect the Commission's authority to determine its own jurisdiction.’ ”). In that case, the court upheld as reasonable DOT's interpretation of the commuter airlines exemption as restricting the type of aircraft that could operate unrestricted service at Love Field rather than the class of airlines that could operate longhaul services at the facility. Regional jets, it contends, “cannot qualify as ‘commuter’ aircraft.” We disagree. Cal., 159 F.3d 1178, 1182-83 (9th Cir.1998) (holding that labor contracts between a state entity and private groups were not “laws” because they were not efforts to regulate but rather “reflect[ed] an owner's desire to contractually assure peace and prosperity on particular projects”). Accordingly, we move to step two of Chevron and inquire whether DOT's interpretation is a reasonable one. Furthermore, we note with concern the potential impact of DOT's ruling. Ed.2d 6 (1996) (“When faced with a state court judgment relating to an exclusively federal claim, a federal court must first look to the law of the rendering State to ascertain the effect of the judgment.”).8. § 41713, which DOT interpreted here, does not grant DOT discretion because Congress has defined the extent of federal preemption and has specified which state rights remain. The Committee also argues that DOT failed to follow its own environmental procedures.