Oklahoma v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. Co.
Annotate this Case
220 U.S. 277 (1911)
U.S. Supreme Court
Oklahoma v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. Co., 220 U.S. 277 (1911)
Oklahoma v. Atchison, Topeka
& Santa Fe Railway Company
No. 13, Original
Argued February 23, 1911
Decided April 3, 1911
220 U.S. 277
While the territorial condition lasts, the governmental power of Congress over a territory and its inhabitants is exclusive and paramount, except as restricted by the Constitution.
An act of Congress, regulating railway charges of a railway in a territory until a state government is formed and providing that thereafter such state shall have authority to regulate the charges ceases to be of force on the admission of such state into the Union, and thereafter the state can fix such charges subject only to the constitutional rights of the railway, and so held as to §§ 1-4 of the Act of July 4, 1884, c. 179, 23 Stat. 73.
A state, in its corporate capacity, has no such interest in the rights of shippers as to entitle it to maintain an original action in this Court against the carrier to restrain it from charging unreasonable rates within its jurisdiction. Louisiana v. Texas, 176 U. S. 1.
The original jurisdiction conferred by the Constitution on this Court does not include every cause in which the state elects to make itself a party to vindicate the rights of its people or to enforce its own laws or public policy against wrong done generally.
The facts, which involve the construction of the provisions of the Constitution of the United States conferring original jurisdiction on this Court in controversies in which a state is a party, are stated in the opinion.