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U.S. Supreme Court

Texas & Pacific Ry. Co. v. Abilene Cotton Oil Co., 204 U.S. 426 (1907)

Texas & Pacific Railway Company v.

Abilene Cotton Oil Company

No. 78

Argued November 2, 1906

Decided February 25, 1907

204 U.S. 426


Where defendant in the state court contends that, consistently with the Interstate Commerce Act, the state court has no power to grant the relief, and such contention is essentially involved and expressly, and, in order to support the judgment, necessarily, decided adversely to the defendant, a federal question exists and this Court can review the judgment on writ of error under § 709, Rev.Stat.

Where the state court determined a case involving railroad rates on the hypothesis conceded by counsel on both sides that the rate was one of a lawful schedule duly filed and published in accordance with the Interstate Commerce Act, the contention that the rate was not so filed and published and therefore was not a legal rate is not open in this Court.

While repeals by implication are not favored, and a statute will not be construed as abrogating an existing common law remedy, it will be so construed if such preexisting right is so repugnant to it as to deprive it of its efficacy and render its provisions nugatory.

The Interstate Commerce Act was intended to afford an effective and comprehensive means for redressing wrongs resulting from unjust discriminations and undue preference, and to that end placed upon carriers

Page 204 U. S. 427

the duty of publishing schedules of reasonable and uniform rates; and, consistently with the provisions of that law, a shipper cannot maintain an action at common law in a state court for excessive and unreasonable freight rates exacted on interstate shipments where the rates charged were those which had been duly fixed by the carrier according to the act and had not been found to be unreasonable by the Interstate Commerce Commission.

85 S.W. 1052 reversed.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 204 U. S. 430

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