A. L. Mechling Barge Lines, Inc. v. United States

PETITIONER: A. L. Mechling Barge Lines, Inc.
RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1962-1965)

CITATION: 376 US 375 (1964)
ARGUED: Feb 18, 1964
DECIDED: Mar 23, 1964

Facts of the case


Media for A. L. Mechling Barge Lines, Inc. v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - February 18, 1964 (Part 2) in A. L. Mechling Barge Lines, Inc. v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - February 18, 1964 (Part 1) in A. L. Mechling Barge Lines, Inc. v. United States

Earl Warren:

Number 58, A. L. Mechling Barge Lines, Incorporated, et al., Appellants, versus United States et al., and Number 59, Board of Trade of the City of Chicago, Appellant, versus United States et al.

Mr. ayes, you may proceed with your argument.

Edward B. Hayes:

Mr. Chief Justice and the Supreme Court of the United States.

These are appeals in order of the District Court sustaining an order of the Interstate Commerce Commission which order grants permanent authorization to the eastern railroads upon their joint application as a group to charge less for a longer hauls of corn.

Corn from this Northeastern Illinois producing area, West of Chicago and Kankakee to the East, less for that longer haul, then they charged contemporaneously for the shorter rail hauls of light corn from origins East of Chicago and Kankakee in a four-state area.

This green line represents a waterway used by barges.

This short red line here is the competitive rail haul, the so-called "Belt Line" of the New York Central which is one of the eastern railroad applicants.

East of Chicago and Kankakee, the eastern railroads have no barge line competition.

All those rate, defining from the four-section, applies only to corn milled in transit, that is to say only to corn which is milled into products at some stock off point before delivering to its final eastern destination.

It is separately published reshipping rate on this milled in transit corn east of Kankakee and east of Chicago was not affected.

There is no change in that under this order.

That rate is the same whether the corn be milled -- to be milled in transit and goes east from Chicago or east from Kankakee.


Edward B. Hayes:

Yes, sir.

That reshipping rate to all eastern destinations is based on the shipping rate from Chicago and Kankakee to New York.

As you point out, it was 49 cents a hundred rate originally.

While the proceeding was pending under uniform general countrywide rail rate increases on most products, it became a higher sum -- I forgotten what this, I think around 54 cents.

In the record and briefs, it is sometimes identified as the 49.5-cent rate sometimes is the -- at the other figure.

There is no change in that rate under the railroads proposal and under the order here in question.

However, speaking of it, I should say for clarity that it is the same reshipping rate all the way through New York, whether the corn milled in transit goes directly to New York by one of the direct lines of other railroads schematically indicated by this blue or by some indirect route, this red is New York Central.

The blue is other railroads.

It's always -- just that sum all the way through to New York, no matter how it goes there.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

It doesn't go -- go on the same cargo all the way east of Chicago, west of Kankakee rather or suppose on west of Kankakee aboard freight cars and the freight cars right through the East.

Edward B. Hayes:

This is on corn milled in transit, Your Honor, so it has to have a stop off point and one of the primary stop off points is Kankakee.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

I see.

Edward B. Hayes:

There is another one in Chicago but in Chicago, the demand for grain is quite largely for whole corn because there, there are marketers of whole corn and this is a processor down --

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

Well, are you telling Mr. Hayes that the fact that the stop off from milling either at Kankakee or Chicago and never East?

Edward B. Hayes:

Oh, yes, it stops off and -- in the East also, sir.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

Well, that's (Voice Overlap) --

Edward B. Hayes:

I -- I didn't understand your question.