Interstate Commerce Commission v. Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway Co.

Interstate Commerce Commission V. Cincinnati, New Orleans And Texas Pacific Railway Co.

SCOTUS Case
 
SCOTUS Case
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Interstate Commerce Commission v. Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway Co.

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Interstate Commerce Commission v. Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway Co., 167 U.S. 479 (1897), was an important early U.S. Supreme Court case in the development of American administrative law.

Background

Legal principle

The power of an administrative agency is executive and administrative, but not legislative. The scope of authority held by an agency is determined by the agency's organic statute. Where an administrative agency wishes to assume the traditionally legislative power to make policy, the power must be expressly granted by the agency's organic statute, and not implied from other terms of the statute. This principle applies especially where the policy involves issues of great consequence.

Note: This principle was later qualified by cases such as NBC v. US which provided for more expansive powers for administrative agencies.

Facts and procedural posture

The ICC set rates for rail transport, and issued an order requiring all rail companies who charged more than the set rates to cease operations. The ICC then went to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to seek a legal injunction requiring the companies to comply with the order. The 6th circuit sent a certified question to the US Supreme Court, asking:
"Had the interstate commerce commission jurisdictional power to make the order hereinbefore set forth; all proceedings preceding said order being due and regular, so far as procedure is concerned?"


Ultimately, the...
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