Chicago, Milwaukee & St. P. Ry. Co. v. Iowa - 233 U.S. 334 (1914)
U.S. Supreme Court
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. P. Ry. Co. v. Iowa, 233 U.S. 334 (1914)
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company v. Iowa
Argued March 3, 1914
Decided April 13, 1914
233 U.S. 334
Whether commerce is interstate or intrastate must be determined by the essential character of the commerce, and not by mere billing or forms of contract.
The reshipment of an interstate shipment by the consignees in the cars in which received to other points of destination does not necessarily establish a continuity of movement or prevent the shipment to a point within the same state from having an independent and intrastate character.
In this case, held that shipments of coal when reshipped, after arrival from points without the state and acceptance by the consignees, to points within the state on new and regular billing forms constituted intrastate shipments, and were subject to the jurisdiction of the State Railroad Commission.
Whether the common law or statutory provisions apply to a case is for the state court to determine, and so held that, in Iowa the State Railroad Commission has power under the state law to require common carriers to use the equipment of connecting carriers to transport shipments from the points of original destination to other points within the state.
A state may, so long as it acts within its own jurisdiction and not in hostility to any federal regulation of interstate commerce, compel a carrier to accept, for further reshipment over its lines to points within the state, cars already loaded and in suitable condition, and an order to that effect by the State Railroad Commission is not
unconstitutional a depriving the carrier of it property without due process of law.
Where it appears that an order of the State Railroad Commission simply required the carrier to continue a former practice, and the record does not disclose that it involve additional expense over the new practice proposed, this Court is not justified in holding that the order is unconstitutional a depriving the carrier of its property without due process of law because it subject it to an unreasonable expense.
This Court cannot, at the instance of the carrier, hold an order of the State Railroad Commission, otherwise valid, requiring the carrier to forward interstate shipments after receipt to intrastate points in the same equipment, void as interfering with interstate commerce because the cars are vehicles of interstate commerce when no actual interference with such commerce is shown, nor is any such question raised between the shippers and the owners of the car.
152 Ia. 317 affirmed.
The facts, which involve the validity and also the constitutionality under the commerce clause of, and the Fourteenth Amendment to, the federal Constitution of an order of the State Railroad Commission of Iowa in regard to carload shipments of coal, are stated in the opinion.