East Texas Motor Freight Lines, Inc. v. Frozen Food Express

PETITIONER: East Texas Motor Freight Lines, Inc.
RESPONDENT: Frozen Food Express
LOCATION: Pittsburgh Party Headquarters

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1955-1956)

CITATION: 351 US 49 (1956)
ARGUED: Mar 07, 1956
DECIDED: Apr 23, 1956

Facts of the case


Media for East Texas Motor Freight Lines, Inc. v. Frozen Food Express

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 07, 1956 in East Texas Motor Freight Lines, Inc. v. Frozen Food Express

Earl Warren:

Number 158 to 164, Frozen Food Express et al.versus United States and Interstate Commerce Commission.

Mr. Ginnane

Robert W. Ginnane:

May it please the Court.

These cases arise out of Section 203 (b) (6) of the Interstate Commerce Act.

That Section is in part II of the Interstate Commerce Act which provides a comprehensive system of economic and safety regulation for interstate motor carriers.

The Section, out of which these cases arises -- arise, Section 203 (b) (6) exempts from all economic regulation that is as to certificates of public convenience and necessity rates and I quote, “Motor vehicles used in carrying property consisting of ordinary livestock, fish (including shell fish),” and the words involved in these cases, “agricultural (including horticultural) commodities, but (not including manufactured products thereof.)”

In all our seven numbered appeals before the court, they really amount to only two cases.

Numbers 158 to 161 are referred to by the parties as the determination case, and it involves the single question of whether the decision of the Interstate Commerce Commission in a proceeding entitled Determination of Exempted Agricultural Commodities is reviewable by the courts.

Numbers 162 to 164 are referred to by the parties as the complaint case, and it involves the single question of whether fresh and frozen dressed poultry are exempt agricultural commodities under Section 203 (b) (6).

I will make the sole argument for the appellants in numbers 159 and 160 in the determination case.

And Mr. Macdonald and I will divide the argument for appellants in the complaint case.

I should state that appellant, Railroads, have filed their own brief but are not participating in the oral argument.

They're all in agreement on the first case?

Robert W. Ginnane:


There is nobody representing the District Court?

Robert W. Ginnane:

Nobody on this side of the table.


Robert W. Ginnane:

If I may discuss the determination case first, which involves the single question of whether the Commission's decision in that case is a reviewable order.

Felix Frankfurter:

Where is it?

Robert W. Ginnane:

It begins in the record in number 158 at page 30.

It runs from page 30 to page 102.

Felix Frankfurter:

Where would you -- is it possible for you to say what you mean the effective -- effectuating part of that order or such -- such expression as in your view are a review of the (Inaudible)

Robert W. Ginnane:

I think it's concentrated in -- in the findings, beginning at the bottom of page 88 and running almost to the bottom of page 89.

Felix Frankfurter:


Robert W. Ginnane:

In the paragraph beginning at the -- at the bottom of page 88, the Commission sets forth its general principle or test for determining whether particular commodity is exempt or not exempt.

And then following full paragraph on page 89, it sets forth a -- a long list of commodities which it has concluded are exempt as agricultural commodities.

Now, I should also add that in the course of the preceding discussion in its report, the Commission states at various places in its judgment specific commodities such as dressed poultry are not exempt commodities.

Felix Frankfurter:

Where is that?

Robert W. Ginnane:

At different portions of the preceding of --

Felix Frankfurter:

Is this thick long paragraph on page 89 you say enumerate what odds can be (Inaudible)