United States v. Schneer's Atlanta

PETITIONER: United States
RESPONDENT: Schneer's Atlanta, Inc.
LOCATION: Military Stockade

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1956-1957)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

CITATION: 352 US 978 (1957)
ARGUED: Jan 15, 1957 / Jan 16, 1957
DECIDED: Jan 21, 1957

Facts of the case


Media for United States v. Schneer's Atlanta

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 16, 1957 in United States v. Schneer's Atlanta

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 15, 1957 in United States v. Schneer's Atlanta

Earl Warren:

Number 75, United States of America versus Schneers Atlanta Incorporated.

Mr. Slade.

Samuel D. Slade:

Mr. Chief Justice, may it please the Court.

This case here on certiorari to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals presents a question with regard to the continuing exclusive jurisdiction of the Emergency Court of Appeals over questions involving the validity of price control regulations.

As the Court knows, the price control program during the Korean War Trade was contained entitled for of the Defense Production Act of 1950, which terminated on April 30, 1953.

Now, prior to that termination, whether there was an enforcement proceeding brought civil or criminal, the Emergency Court of Appeals had exclusive jurisdiction over any question which might arise as to the validity of the price regulation involved.

The question here is this, whether the termination on April 30, 1953 of the period of active control served to destroy the exclusive jurisdiction of Emergency Court of Appeals over validity questions and simultaneously give rise to a District Court jurisdiction over these questions.

The -- that is the District Court in which the enforcement proceedings were pending of the facts in this case are very sparse.

The United States filed a civil enforcement suit against Schneers Atlanta on February 19, 1953.

In March, an answer was filed which raised an issue as to the validity of the price regulation involved.

In February 1954, Schneers moved the summary judgment substantive issue having them framed by affidavits and in all argument on that motion contended that the termination of Title 4 of the 1950 Act on April 30th, 1953 had brought the exclusive jurisdiction, the Emergency Court to an end and that thereafter the District Court, in the enforcement case could pass on the question of validity.

The district judge rejected this contention by an order of opinion on September 14, 1954 which is at page 25 of the record, and he held that the Emergency Court of Appeals continued to exercise exclusive jurisdiction over questions of validity, which might arise during the course of these enforcement proceedings.

Subsequently, a judgment was added for the United States and then agreed of not with the reservation of it and I quote, "Any right" that Schneers might have to seek administrative review, review in the Emergency Court of Appeals or to take an appeal to the court below.

Schneers in fact sought to have the Emergency Court of Appeals pass on the question of validity which had been raised, but the complaint was dismissed of one of jurisdiction.

It was filed out of time by a very short margin, but that Court is under a statutory 30-day limitation.

In other words, the complaint ancillary to a District Court enforcement proceeding must be filed in the Emergency Court of Appeals within 30 days of the time permission to grant -- to file a complaint if granted.

Felix Frankfurter:

You said “if,” Mr. Slade.

What is the present status in that Court fully apart from this case?

Samuel D. Slade:

The Emergency Court of Appeals?

It exists, Mr. Justice Frankfurter.

And we have --

Felix Frankfurter:


Samuel D. Slade:

No, we have litigation pending which may call upon it to act, part of the jury.

I think at the present time as shown by the last report, they only have one case pending that has been less activity in that Court in the --

Felix Frankfurter:

Are there any sort of that hanging over them or are they -- it's going on until somebody stops it, there's nobody stopping it.

Samuel D. Slade:

Well, it takes a long time to liquidate the enforcement program.

It took well on into the 1950s to -- to carry out the 1942 program in the enforcement phase.

We still have some of those cases.

Does this mean that you prevail on this case as -- that means you're entitled.

The Government is entitled to succeed in the enforcement proceeding, isn't that the defense of invalidity can't be raised?