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U.S. Supreme Court

Louisville & Nashville R. Co. v. United States, 282 U.S. 740 (1931)

Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company v. United States

No. 333

Argued January 15, 16, 1931

Decided February 25, 1931

282 U.S. 740


The Interstate Commerce Commission ordered interstate carriers to desist from the practice of hauling each other's private, or office, cars free or at other than published tariff rates, and amended its regulations to provide that a car pass may be issued only for cars owned by the issuing carrier or held by it under lease for use in its business as a common carrier.


1. The findings of the Commission sustain its conclusion that (as a matter of fact) it is unjustly discriminatory to haul private cars of other carriers free, while charging for the movement of the private cars of individuals or of corporations not carriers. P. 282 U. S. 748.

2. Such discrimination is not saved from the condemnation of § 3(1) of the Interstate Commerce Act by the fact that the car hauled free belongs to another railroad and is occupied by its officials engaged about its business and whose free transportation as passengers is permitted by §§ 1(7) and 22(1) of the Act. P. 282 U. S. 749.

3. Nor can it be said (on the facts found by the Commission) that, so far as the transportation of the private car itself is concerned, the service is not rendered under substantially similar circumstances and conditions whether the occupants have passes or pay for their transportation as passengers. P. 282 U. S. 753.

4. On the findings of the Commission, there is no ground for treating the private car of one carrier, when being hauled by another carrier, as a facility of the hauling carrier, and not as property being transported by it for the owner. P. 282 U. S. 754.

5. Section 6(1), requiring that the provisions as to published tariffs shall apply to all traffic, transportation, and facilities defined in the Act, and § 3(1), prohibiting discriminations, clearly embrace the practice in question when they are applied to the facts as now found by the Commission, and §§ 1(7) and 22(1) clearly do not justify it. P. 282 U. S. 757.

6. The Act being thus free from ambiguity, it cannot be construed as permitting the practice merely because the practice has been in good faith pursued by the carriers since a time antedating the Act, without correction by the Commission or by Congress. Id.

Affirmed. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 282 U. S. 741

Appeal from a decree of the district court, of three judges, dismissing a bill to set aside, in part, two orders of the Interstate Commerce Commission. The court below delivered a per curiam opinion which seems not to have been reported.

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