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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Louisiana, 290 U.S. 70 (1933)

United States v. Louisiana

No. 17

Argued October 13, 1933

Decided November 6, 1933

290 U.S. 70


1. Section 13(4) of the Interstate Commerce Act, which empowers the Commission to remove unjust discrimination by intrastate rates against interstate commerce by prescribing minimum intrastate rates, is to be taken as supplementing § 15a(2), and, so construed, empowers it to raise intrastate rates so that the intrastate traffic may produce its fair share of the revenue required to meet maintenance and operating costs and to yield a fair return on the value of property devoted to the transportation service, both interstate and intrastate. P. 290 U. S. 75.

2. In the performance of its duty, under § 15a(2), of providing adequate revenue for groups of carriers, the Commission is not obliged to undertake the impossible task of finding, in advance of the order raising rates, the reasonableness of each individual rate; it is enough if, with proper procedure and supported by evidence, it find that the increases to be allowed, when applied to members of a group, will generally not exceed reasonable maxima, reserving to all interested parties the right to secure modification of any particular rates which, when challenged, may be found to be unjust or unreasonable. P. 290 U. S. 75.

3. This same principle applies when intrastate rates are raised, under § 13(4), to the level of interstate rates increased under § 15a(2). P. 290 U. S. 78.

4. Findings of the Commission, read with its reports, held sufficient as findings that, through failure to contribute such increased

Page 290 U. S. 71

revenue as would result from increased intrastate rate, the intrastate traffic in question was not bearing its fair share of the burden of maintaining a national transportation system, and that the probability that proposed increase of those rates would increase the revenue was sufficiently great to make the increase a reasonable exercise of sound managerial judgment. P. 290 U. S. 80.

5. The fact that increases of interstate rates were permissive only does no affect the validity of an order under § 13(4) for corresponding increases of intrastate rates which is to remain in effect only so long as the increases of interstate rates shall be maintained by the carriers. P. 290 U. S. 82.

2 F.Supp. 545 reversed.

Appeal from a decree of the District Court of three judges setting aside an order of the Interstate Commerce Commission for increased intrastate rates. See 186 I.C.C. 615; 178 id. 539; 179 id. 215.

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