United States v. Florida East Coast Ry. Co.,
410 U.S. 224 (1973)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Florida East Coast Ry. Co., 410 U.S. 224 (1973)

United States v. Florida East Coast Railway Co.

No. 70-279

Argued December 7, 1972

Decided January 22, 1973

410 U.S. 224


The District Court ruled that appellee railroads were prejudiced by failure of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to hold oral hearings as required by §§ 556 and 557 of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) before establishing industry-wide per diem rates for freight-car use. The ICC did receive written submissions from appellees, but refused to conduct the hearings requested by appellees prior to completion of its rulemaking.

Held: The language of § 1(14)(a) of the Interstate Commerce Act that "[t]he Commission may, after hearing . . . establish reasonable rules . . ." did not trigger §§ 556 and 557 of the APA requiring a trial-type hearing and the presentation of oral argument by the affected parties; and the ICC's proceeding was governed only b § 553 of the APA requiring notice prior to rulemaking. United States v. Allegheny-Ludlum Steel Corp., 406 U. S. 742. Nor does the "after hearing" language of § 1(14)(a) of the Interstate Commerce Act by itself confer upon interested parties either the right to present evidence orally and to cross-examine opposing witnesses, or the right to present oral argument to the agency's decisionmaker. Pp. 410 U. S. 234-246.

322 F.Supp. 725, reversed and remanded.

REHNQUIST, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and BRENNAN, WHITE, MARSHALL, and BLACKMUN, JJ., joined. DOUGLAS, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which STEWART, J., joined, post, p. 410 U. S. 246. POWELL, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

Page 410 U. S. 225

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