ICC v. Chicago, R.I. & Pacific Ry. Co.
218 U.S. 88 (1910)

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U.S. Supreme Court

ICC v. Chicago, R.I. & Pacific Ry. Co., 218 U.S. 88 (1910)

Interstate Commerce Commission v. Chicago,

Rock Island & Pacific Railway Company

Nos. 663, 664

Argued April 5, 6, 1910

Decided May 31, 1910

218 U.S. 88

Syllabus

The Interstate Commerce Commission having made an order reducing rates between Mississippi River points and Missouri River cities, the railroad companies brought suit to enjoin the enforcement of the order, claiming that it was made not for the mere purpose of fixing just rates, but for the purpose of artificially apportioning the country into zones tributary to trade centers, which was beyond the power of the Commission. The claim was made that the rates as reduced were confiscatory within the meaning of the Fifth Amendment. The circuit court so held, and enjoined the rate. On appeal to this Court, held: that:

The Interstate Commerce Commission did not base its order on an effort to apportion the country into zones tributary to trade centers and to build up new trade centers.

The outlook of the Interstate Commerce Commission and its powers are greater than the interests of the railroads, and are as comprehensive as the interests of the entire country.

The Interstate Commerce Commission was instituted to prevent discrimination between persons and places; rates may not only be investigated and pronounced unreasonable or discriminatory, but other rates may be prescribed.

The power of the Interstate Commerce Commission extends to the regulation of rates, whether the same be old or new, notwithstanding that interests attached to the rates may have to be changed in case the Commission exercises its power.

Railroad companies may complain of an order of the Commission reducing rates so far as it affects their revenue. They cannot complain of it simply because it affects shippers or places.

Page 218 U. S. 89

The primary jurisdiction as to fixing rate under the Interstate Commerce Act is with the Commission, and the power of the court is confined to a review of question of constitutional power exercised by the Commission.

In this case, the only question being as to power and the rates' not being confiscatory and the Commission's having acted within it power, the case is remanded with instructions to dismiss the bill.

171 F. 680 reversed.

The facts, which involve the validity of certain orders of the Interstate Commerce Commission affecting railroad freight rates to points known as Missouri River cities, are stated in the opinion.

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