Polar Ice Cream & Creamery Company v. Andrews

PETITIONER: Polar Ice Cream & Creamery Company
RESPONDENT: Andrews
LOCATION: Alabama State Capitol

DOCKET NO.: 38
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1962-1965)
LOWER COURT:

CITATION: 375 US 361 (1964)
ARGUED: Nov 20, 1963
DECIDED: Jan 06, 1964

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Polar Ice Cream & Creamery Company v. Andrews

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 20, 1963 (Part 2) in Polar Ice Cream & Creamery Company v. Andrews

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 20, 1963 (Part 1) in Polar Ice Cream & Creamery Company v. Andrews

Earl Warren:

Number 38, Polar Ice Cream and Creamery Company, Appellant, versus Charles O. Andrews, et cetera.

Mr. Harrell.

Joe J. Harrell:

Mr. Chief Justice, members of the Court, may it please the Court.

This is an action and a direct appeal from a decision of a three-judge District Court which was convened in the Northern District of Florida.

An action was brought by Polar Ice Cream and Creamery Company challenging the constitutionality of a portion of the Florida Milk Commission Act being Chapter 501 Florida Statutes.

The complaint, an amended complaint asked for injunctive relief and also asked for declaratory relief with respect to the application of certain orders insofar as they affected the Polar Ice Cream and Creamery Company which is a milk distributor located in Pensacola, Florida which is 16 miles from the Alabama state line.

The lower court considered three questions and one was whether or not the application of a portion of this Act and the orders which implemented it by the Florida Milk Commission burdened unduly interstate commerce, also whether or not minimum producer prices with respect to sale made to military installation could be enforced by the State of Florida.

And the third question which the District Court considered was whether or not the distributor's tax on milk distributed which was 15 cents per 100 gallons, milk distributed by a Florida producer, Polar Ice Cream and Creamery Company to military installations exclusive jurisdiction to which have been seeded to the United States was in fact applicable and collectible by the State of Florida.

Those were the three questions which the District Court determined adversely to the Polar Ice Cream and Creamery Company, and from this adverse decision, a direct appeal is taken to this Court.

In November 1961, the Pensacola area which consisted of the Western most four counties located within the State of Florida came within the jurisdiction of the Florida Milk Commission.

These four counties, prior to that time had been without the jurisdiction of Florida -- of the Florida Milk Commission.

Immediately after they came within the jurisdiction of the Florida Milk Commission, the Florida Milk Commission began a scheme which we contend burden unduly interstate commerce.

Potter Stewart:

How was it which brought these four counties under the Milk Commissions jurisdiction action by the Commission or?

Joe J. Harrell:

It was a vote by the milk producers of those four counties.

Potter Stewart:

Of those four counties.

Joe J. Harrell:

Of those four counties, that's correct sir.

Potter Stewart:

Under the state setup, that's on (Voice Overlap) --

Joe J. Harrell:

Yes under state of law, they voted in on November 21, 1961, they came within the jurisdiction of the Florida Milk Commission.

The first thing that the Florida Milk Commission did with respect to these four counties was to set a minimum producer price of 61 cents per gallon which was the highest price in the United States, the highest published price in the United States as that -- as of that time.

The second thing that the Milk Commission did to implement this particular scheme was to enter an allocation order in which it allocated all of the Class I sales to Florida Milk Commissions to Florida Milk producers and set up in a ratio which total 100% of all sales, the amount of sales which were to be allocated to each particular producer of Polar Ice Cream and Creamery Company.

The third ground which implemented this particular scheme was the law which said that Polar Ice Cream and Creamery Company or a milk distributor could not terminate its relationship with a producer except for just cause.

And the court has held that just cause is not -- that is not just cause if he could buy his milk cheaper elsewhere.

There was a further implementation in that if --

Byron R. White:

What court (Inaudible)

Joe J. Harrell:

The Florida Court.

Byron R. White:

(Inaudible)

Joe J. Harrell:

Yes, I do have Mr. Justice White.

It is in Odom versus the State of Florida.

I cited in my brief.

Byron R. White:

The Supreme Court?