Texas v. United States
292 U.S. 522 (1934)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Texas v. United States, 292 U.S. 522 (1934)

Texas v. United States

No. 920

Argued May 9, 1934

Decided June 4, 1934

292 U.S. 522

Syllabus

1. It is a primary aim in the new railroad policy inaugurated by the Transportation Act, 1920, to secure avoidance of waste, and the authority given to the Interstate Commerce Commission to permit consolidations, purchases, leases, etc., was given in aid of that policy. P. 292 U. S. 530.

2. The criterion to be applied by the Commission in the exercise of its authority to approve such transactions -- a criterion reaffirmed by the amendments of Emergency Railroad Transportation Act, 1933 -- is that of the controlling public interest. P. 292 U. S. 531.

3. The term "public interest," as used in the statute, is not a mere general reference to public welfare, but has direct relation to adequacy of transportation service, to its essential conditions of economy and efficiency, and to appropriate provision and best use of transportation facilities. P. 292 U. S. 531.

4. Under § 5 of the Interstate Commerce Act, as amended by §§ 201 and 202 of Title II of the Emergency Railroad Transportation Act of 1933, the Interstate Commerce Commission has power to authorize a lease of one interstate railway to another permitting the lessee to abandon or remove general offices and shops of the lessor, the maintenance of which as found by the Commission would entail unnecessary and wasteful expenditures, even though such abandonment or removal be forbidden by the law of the the lessor's incorporation in which such offices and shops are located. P. 292 U. S. 532.

5. By concession in this case, the lease and order do not affect the "public" or principal office which the lessor is required to keep in Texas by the laws of that state, as distinguished from "general offices" required by the Texas "Office-Shops" Act, so that there can be no interference by the lease in question with the supervision of the state over the lessor company in matters essentially of state concern. P. 292 U. S. 532.

6. Section 11 of Title I of the Emergency Railroad Transportation Act of 1933, providing that nothing in that Title (which deals with

Page 292 U. S. 523

the authority of the Federal Coordinator of Transportation and kindred matters) shall be construed to relieve any carrier from any contractual obligation which it may have assumed, prior to the enactment with regard to the location or maintenance of its offices, shops, or roundhouse at any point, is not inconsistent with power in the Commission, when acting under § 5 of the Interstate Commerce Act, as amended by Title II of the Emergency Act, to relieve from like obligations imposed by state statute. P. 292 U. S. 533.

7. Title II of the Emergency Railroad Transportation Act, supra, in amending § 5(15) of the Interstate Commerce Act, relieves carriers from the operation of the antitrust laws and

"of all other restraints or prohibitions by or imposed under authority of law, state or federal, insofar as may be necessary to enable them to do anything authorized or required by"

any order under the foregoing provisions of that section. Held that the scope of the immunity is not limited to laws of the same genus as antitrust legislation. P. 292 U. S. 534.

6 F.Supp. 63 affirmed.

Appeal from a decree of the District Court, consisting of three judges, which dismissed a bill brought by the Texas, and some of its officers and municipalities, to annul an order of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Page 292 U. S. 524

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