Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Company v. Illinois

PETITIONER: Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Company
RESPONDENT: State of Illinois, Illinois Commerce Commission, and Milwaukee Road Commuters' Association
LOCATION: United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

DOCKET NO.: 12
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1957-1958)
LOWER COURT:

CITATION: 355 US 300 (1958)
ARGUED: Nov 12, 1957
DECIDED: Jan 13, 1958
GRANTED: Dec 10, 1956

ADVOCATES:
Charlie H. Johns, Jr. - for the appellees
Harry R. Begley - for the appellees
R. K. Merrill - for the appellant
S. Ashley Guthrie - for the appellees

Facts of the case

The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) passed an order making intrastate passenger fares for the Milwaukee Road’s Chicago suburban commuter line higher than the fares the state commission had authorized. The state of Illinois, the Illinois Commerce Commission, and the Milwaukee Road Commuters’ Association sued the ICC in district court and sought to enjoin the enforcement of the order. The district court held that the ICC had failed to show that the fares authorized by the state commission caused undue, unreasonable, or unjust discrimination against interstate commerce, and therefore the order was not justified. The ICC appealed the case directly to the Supreme Court.

Question

Did the district court correctly find that the ICC lacked the necessary evidence to support the imposition of the order raising intrastate commerce fares?

Media for Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Company v. Illinois

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 12, 1957 (Part 1) in Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Company v. Illinois

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 12, 1957 (Part 2) in Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Company v. Illinois

S. Ashley Guthrie:

If the Court please.

Before passing on to what I think, possibly, more important part of the case, I might -- I might say something as to what was said about the interstate rate.

The only interstate rate involved in this case were rates to Walworth and Zenda, Wisconsin which were the tail end of the west suburban -- of the north suburban line of the Milwaukee road out of Chicago.

The -- there was no independent evidence of any kind as to the interstate rate to Zenda and Walworth.

The rates were fixed on that line to correspond with the intervening intrastate rates as fixed.

There was no special attention directed to it.

As a matter of fact, there's one train, it goes out through them.

One suburban train needs to -- goes out, one comes in.

That's all the service they have each day.

The complaint interstate -- the Illinois Commerce Commission which joined in the complaint and of course is interested primarily in interstate rates and the petition was based on Section 13 (4) directed intrastate rates.

They prepared the complaint for the rate, the entire order will be set aside.

Obviously, if the intrastate rates -- the order as to intrastate rate is set aside, there's nothing for the order to the two little Wisconsin villages to stand on.

There -- there's a -- if -- if the Court, the District Court couldn't set aside, the order is to -- as to intrastate rates, they say the order shall remain in effect as standard state rates.

Compared that to the interstate rate, the interstate rates necessarily fall and follows at a District Court an enjoining enforcement of the Interstate Commerce Commission's order into the whole order.

Any other decree wouldn't have any consistency or any common sense in it.

The -- that's their -- a very minor part of this case that I thought I would say that at the start of my argument.

Felix Frankfurter:

Well, suppose the other way around is true to, isn't it?

S. Ashley Guthrie:

What's that?

Excuse me, Justice.

Felix Frankfurter:

(Voice Overlap) --

S. Ashley Guthrie:

I didn't understand you.

Felix Frankfurter:

I mean, if the intrastate order stand, I suppose, or am I wrong about that.

S. Ashley Guthrie:

The intrastate order stands and the interstate order rather stand.

Felix Frankfurter:

Pardon me?

S. Ashley Guthrie:

If the intrastate order stand and --

Felix Frankfurter:

As to interstate, that's all I --

S. Ashley Guthrie:

Yes, certainly.

The --

Hugo L. Black:

What state would (Inaudible)

S. Ashley Guthrie:

The -- the case involves a 13 (4) case and they just -- they're just the tail end and it deserve no separate consideration and the District Court would have been -- well, they would have been idiotic for the District Court to give them any separate consideration on the record before it.