Keller v. Potomac Elec. Power Co.
261 U.S. 428 (1923)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Keller v. Potomac Elec. Power Co., 261 U.S. 428 (1923)

Keller v. Potomac Electric Power Company

No. 260

Argued February 26, 27, 1923

Decided April 9, 1923

261 U.S. 428

Syllabus

1. In a proceeding brought by a public utility against the Public Utilities Commission of the District of Columbia, in the Supreme Court of the District, under par. 64 of § 8 of the Act of March 4, 1913, c. 150, 37 Stat. 974, the court is empowered not merely to decide legal questions and questions of fact as incident thereto, but also to amend, and, if need be, enlarge valuations, rates, and regulations established by the Commission which the court finds upon the record and evidence to be inadequate, and to make such order as, in its judgment, the Commission should have made. P. 261 U. S. 440.

2. This is legislative, as distinguished from judicial, power. Id.

3. Under the power "to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever" over the District of Columbia (Const. Art. I, § 8, cl. 17), Congress may vest this jurisdiction in the courts of the District. P. 261 U. S. 442.

4. But such power cannot be conferred upon this Court, and the provision made by the above act (par. 64) for appeals here from the Court of Appeals of the District is therefore void. P. 261 U. S. 443.

5. The failure of this provision of the act does not, however, affect the other provisions of par. 64 of the act giving jurisdiction to

Page 261 U. S. 429

the courts of the District, in new of the probable intent of Congress in this regard and the saving clause in par. 92. P. 261 U. S. 444.

6. If the provisions of the above act (pars. 65 and 69) seeking to limit the time within which recourse may be had to the courts against orders of the Commission and to put the burden of proof upon the party attacking them are unconstitutional, the remainder of the act would not be affected in new of the saving clause of par 92. P. 261 U. S. 445.

Appeal to review 51 App.D.C. 77, 276 F. 327, dismissed.

Appeal, under the law creating the Public Utilities Commission of the District of Columbia, from an order or decree of the Court of Appeals of the District reversing a decree of the Supreme Court of the District which dismissed the bill in a suit against the Commission and remanding the case for further proceedings.

Page 261 U. S. 436

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