Louisville & Nashville R. Co. v. Finn
Annotate this Case
235 U.S. 601 (1915)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Louisville & Nashville R. Co. v. Finn, 235 U.S. 601 (1915)
Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company v. Finn
Argued December 11, 14, 1914
Decided January 5, 1915
235 U.S. 601
Where the jurisdiction of a federal court is invoked because of questions raised under the federal Constitution, it extends to the determination of all questions presented, irrespective of the disposition that may be made of the federal questions or whether it is necessary to decide them at all. Ohio Tax Cases, 232 U. S. 576.
While the rule applicable to the Interstate Commerce Commission that an order made indisputably contrary to the evidence, or without any evidence, is arbitrary and subject to be set aside, may also be applicable to orders of the Kentucky Railroad Commission, in this case held that there was substantial evidence to support the order establishing rates, and the Commission had jurisdiction under the McChord Act to make the order reestablishing a former rate.
Where the evidence shows that special rates on a particular commodity were voluntarily established and were maintained for many years after the avowed reason for introducing them had ceased to exist, and the carrier's reason for an advance was not because they were inadequate, but because they gave rise to discrimination, there is a reasonable inference that the advanced rates are unreasonably high which is sufficient to give jurisdiction to the Kentucky Railroad Commission under the McChord Act to make an order reestablishing the original rates and to support the conclusion that such rates were remunerative, and should be reestablished.
Where, in a proceeding before a state Railroad Commission, complaining shippers specified the amount of extortionate charges for which
reparation was prayed, and the carrier admitted the rates had been charged and denied liability for reparation solely on the round that the rates were reasonable, and there was evidence to support the charges that the rates were extortionate, and the record does not show that the carriers were denied an opportunity to introduce evidence, this Court will not declare that an order of reparation was contrary to the due process provision of the Fourteenth Amendment either because of lack of evidence on which to base the amounts ordered to be paid or because, under the statutory procedure, there was no formal issue, or because the statute does not provide for compulsory production of evidence either before the Commission or in any subsequent trial before the court.
This Court does not pass upon moot questions, and one seeking to strike down a state statute as unconstitutional must show that he is within the class with respect to whom it is unconstitutional, and that he has been injured by the unconstitutional feature.
Where the record does not show that the party complaining suffered for lack of compulsory process or that he will be prevented in a subsequent trial from producing evidence, he cannot be heard to object to a statute as unconstitutional because it does not provide for compulsory process or contains restrictions on admission of evidence.
214 F. 465, affirmed.
The facts, which involve the validity of orders of the Kentucky Railroad Commission establishing rates and awarding reparation and the constitutionality of the statute under which the orders were made, are stated in the opinion.