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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Pierce Auto Freight Lines, Inc., 327 U.S. 515 (1946)

United States v. Pierce Auto Freight Lines, Inc.

No. 74

Argued January 28, 1946

Decided March 11, 1946

327 U.S. 515


1. Each of two motor carriers made application to the Interstate Commerce Commission under Part II of the Interstate Commerce Act for a permit to operate between points A and C. One was then operating between A and B; the other between B and C, and they operated joint service between A and C by freight interchange. Each applicant opposed the other's application, and competing carriers opposed both. The applications were heard separately by different joint boards, but were dealt with by the Commission in a single report.

Held: that an order of the Commission granting both applications was valid. Pp. 327 U. S. 517, 327 U. S. 523.

2. Neither the fact that the Commission dealt with both applications in one report nor the fact that the Commission granted both applications invalidated its order. P. 327 U. S. 523.

Page 327 U. S. 516

3. The Commission's disposition of the applications did not inject into the proceedings as a "new issue" the question whether both applications should be granted. P. 327 U. S. 526.

4. That the Commission did not determine each case exclusively on the record therein, but considered the evidence in both proceedings, does not warrant invalidating its order in the absence of ay showing of specific prejudice. P. 327 U. S. 528.

5. Where the Commission's report contains all the required findings, it is not obliged to annotate to each finding the evidence supporting it. P. 327 U. S. 529.

6. The fact that an administrative agency has considered matters dehors the record does not invalidate its action unless substantial prejudice is shown. P. 327 U. S. 530.

7. The order of the Commission granting both applications was supported by the findings and the evidence. P. 327 U. S. 530.

8. The Commission's ultimate finding as to the fitness and ability of one of the applicants in this case was supported by a sufficient basic finding and by evidence. P. 327 U. S. 533.

9. Rehearings before administrative bodies are within their own discretion, and only the clearest abuse, not shown upon the record in this case, will sustain an exception to the rule. Atchison, T. & S.F. R. Co. v. United States, 284 U. S. 248, distinguished. P. 327 U. S. 534.

10. The Interstate Commerce Commission, and not the reviewing court, is the arbiter of the paramount public interest. The judicial function is limited to ascertaining whether the order has support in the law and in the record. P. 327 U. S. 535.

57 F.Supp. 192, reversed.

Appeal from a decree of a district court of three judges which suspended an order of the Interstate Commerce Commission and remanded the cause to the Commission for a rehearing. 57 F.Supp. 192. Reversed, p. 327 U. S. 536.

Page 327 U. S. 517

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