Panama Refining Company v. Ryan

PETITIONER:Panama Refining Company, et al.
RESPONDENT:A.D. Ryan, et al.
LOCATION: The White House

DECIDED BY: Hughes Court (1932-1937)

ARGUED: Dec 10, 1934 / Dec 11, 1934
DECIDED: Jan 07, 1935
GRANTED: Oct 08, 1934

F. W. Fischer – for the petitioners in 260
James N. Saye – for the petitioners in 260
F. S. Fischer – for the petitioners 135
Harold Stephens – Assistant Attorney General, for the respondents
L. T. Martineau, Jr. – for the respondents

Facts of the case

On July 11, 1933, the President issued Executive Order 6199, which prohibited interstate and foreign transport and commerce of petroleum and its products in violation of state laws. On July 14, 1933, the President vested the Secretary of the Interior with presidential powers for the purposes of carrying out this “Petroleum Code.” In these two cases, the Panama Refining Company and the Amazon Petroleum Corporation sued the federal officials responsible and claimed that the delegation of powers, as well as the means to enforce them, were unconstitutional under the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments. In their respective district courts, a permanent injunction against the federal officials was granted. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed.


Is the Petroleum Code and its means of enforcement constitutional under the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments?