Port of Portland v. United States

PETITIONER: Port of Portland
RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: Stanford University

DOCKET NO.: 70-31
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)

CITATION: 408 US 811 (1972)
ARGUED: Oct 20, 1971
DECIDED: Jun 29, 1972

Fritz R. Kahn - for appellees
Lofton L. Tatum -

Facts of the case


Media for Port of Portland v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 20, 1971 in Port of Portland v. United States

Warren E. Burger:

We will hear arguments in number 31 Port of Portland against the United States.

Mr. Tatum, you may proceed whenever you are ready.

Lofton L. Tatum:

Mr. Chief Justice may it please the Court.

This case is before the Court upon appeal from a Three-Judge Court of the District of Oregon, affirming a division of Interstate Commerce Commission.

Jurisdiction of this Court is conferred by 28 U.S.C. 1253.

This case arose when two of the four railroads serving Portland filed an application with the Commission for authority to acquire control of Peninsula Terminal Company under Section 5 (2) of the Interstate Commerce Act.

The two acquiring railroads were Union Pacific and Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway.

The latter, SP&S, at the time of the application was a subsidiary of Great Northern and Northern Pacific.

It is now a part of the Burlington Northern System under the approval granted by this Court in the Northern Lines merger.

I shall hereafter refer to them as Burlington Northern.

In their application, the acquiring railroads stated that it was anticipated that within the foreseeable future substantial new traffic and revenues would be derived from Peninsula Terminal as a result of the development of the Rivergate Industrial track by the Port of Portland.

It is thus substantial new traffic and revenues which will be generated by Rivergate that is prompted the great interest in this case.

Rivergate is the key to the public interest here.

It is an area of approximately 3,000 acres located at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers.

We have a --

Potter Stewart:

This map on Page 354 of the Appendix that --

Lofton L. Tatum:

That is a more --

Potter Stewart:

That would be helpful to me in understanding --

Lofton L. Tatum:

That is a much more detailed map Your Honor.

If you would refer to the schematic which we have appended to the end of our brief, I think it will be simpler to follow than that complicated map, which you have before you.

At the end of our brief there is a simple schematic.

Yes sir.

Rivergate is marked on this at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers.

It is owned and it is being developed by the Port of Portland for whom I am general counsel.

I am also appearing today for the Milwaukee and Southern Pacific as who are joint appellants and for the Oregon Public Utility Commissioner.

A great amount of time and money has been invested by the Port Authority in planning this modern, attractive, industrial and port complex to provide for the future economic development of the area.

Here is where all modes of transportation will meet to provide efficient and economical interchange of goods.

The port has already invested more than $5 million of public fund, and it estimates that will expend a minimum of $15 million in the full development of Rivergate.

A conservative estimate in the record of the public and private investment in this area exceeds $500 million.

With further evidence which is undisputed is that Rivergate at full development will require the handling of some 500-600 railroad cars per day.