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U.S. Supreme Court

Intermountain Rate Cases, 234 U.S. 476 (1914)

Intermountain Rate Cases*

Nos. 136, 162

Argued October 18, 21, 22, 1912

Decided June 22, 1914

234 U.S. 476


Prior to the amendment of June 18, 1910, § 4 of the Act to Regulate Commerce lodged in the carrier the right to exercise a primary judgment, subject to administrative control and ultimate judicial review, concerning the necessity and propriety of making a lower rate for the longer than the shorter haul, thus giving the carrier power to exert its judgment as to things of a public nature; but the amendment withdrew that right of primary judgment and lodged it in the Interstate Commerce Commission, to be exercised on request and after due investigation and consideration of the public interests concerned and in view of the preference and discrimination clauses of §§ 2 and 3 of the act.

The long- and short-haul provisions of § 4 of the Act to Regulate Commerce as amended by the Act of June 18, 1910, are not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States as a delegation of power to the Interstate Commerce Commission beyond the competency of Congress.

If a statute is constitutional, this Court must be governed by it and its plain meaning; with the wisdom of Congress in adopting the statute this Court has nothing to do.

In Louis. Nash. R. Co. v. Kentucky, 183 U. S. 503, this Court decided that a general enforcement of the long- and short-haul clause of the Act to Regulate Commerce would not be repugnant to the Constitution, and will not now reconsider and overrule that decision.

The Commerce Court had jurisdiction of a suit to enjoin the enforcement of the order of the Interstate Commerce Commission involved in these cases and which refused the request of carriers to put in force rates requested by them.

Under § 4 of the Act to Regulate Commerce, as amended by the Act of June 18, 1910, the Interstate Commerce Commission has power to make an order, such as that involved in these cases, permitting a chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 234 U. S. 477

lower rate for the longer haul but only on terms stated in the order, establishing zones for the intermediate points and relative percentages upon which proportionate rates should be based.

191 F.8d 6 reversed.

The facts, which involve the constitutionality of the long- and short-haul provisions of the Act to Regulate Commerce as amended by the Act of June 18, 1910, and the validity of an order made in pursuance thereof by the Interstate Commerce Commission, are stated in the opinion.

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