National Railroad Passenger Corporation v. National Association of Railroad Passengers

PETITIONER: National Railroad Passenger Corporation
RESPONDENT: National Association of Railroad Passengers
LOCATION: Robert Welch Inc.

DOCKET NO.: 72-1289
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

CITATION: 414 US 453 (1974)
ARGUED: Nov 12, 1973
DECIDED: Jan 09, 1974

ADVOCATES:
E. Barrett Prettyman, Jr. - for the petitioners
Gordon P. Macdougall - for the respondent

Facts of the case

Question

Media for National Railroad Passenger Corporation v. National Association of Railroad Passengers

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 12, 1973 in National Railroad Passenger Corporation v. National Association of Railroad Passengers

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - January 09, 1974 in National Railroad Passenger Corporation v. National Association of Railroad Passengers

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion of the Court in 72-1289, National Railroad Passenger Corporation against the National Association of Passengers will be announced by Mr. Justice Stewart.

Potter Stewart:

This case is here by a way of the write of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The respondent, the National Association of Railroad Passengers, brought this action in the District Court to enjoin the announced discontinuance of certain passenger trains that had previously been operated by the Central of Georgia Railway Company.

The complaint, named has defendants, that railway company as well as its parent, Southern Railway Company and the National Railroad Passengers Corporation, known popularly as Amtrak, all of whom are the petitioners in this Court.

The question before us is whether this action is maintainable under applicable federal law, specifically under the Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970, known as the Amtrak Act.

The District Court held that there is no such right of action and accordingly that court dismissed the complaint.

But the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case for trial in the District Court.

For the reasons set out in the written opinion filed today, we hold that the District Court’s judgment was correct, and accordingly we reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals.

Mr. Justice Brennan has filed a concurring opinion; Mr. Justice Douglas has filed a dissenting opinion; Mr. Justice Powell took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.