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234 U. S.

Opinion of the Court.

not within the power of the State to prevent the ferry company from so doing; that this was an essential part of the interstate transportation which the State could not forbid, or burden by a privilege tax. See Philadelphia & S. Mail Steamship Co. v. Pennsylvania, 122 U. S. 326, 343. Referring to foreign commerce, the court said in Crutcher v. Kentucky, 141 U. S. 47, 57: "Would any one pretend that a state legislature could prohibit a foreign corporation, an English or a French transportation company, for example, from coming into its borders and landing goods and passengers at its wharves, and soliciting goods and passengers for a return voyage, without first obtaining a license from some state officer, and filing a sworn statement as to the amount of its capital stock paid in? And why not? Evidently because the matter is not within the province of state legislation, but within that of national legislation." Ferry transportation is placed upon the same footing in this respect by the holding in the Gloucester Case (supra, pp. 203, 205), the point of the decision being that the transportation was within the protection of the constitutional grant to Congress. "It matters not," said the court, "that the transportation is made in ferry-boats, which pass between the States every hour of the day."

The fundamental principle involved has been applied by this court in recent decisions in a great variety of circumstances, and it must be taken to be firmly established that one otherwise enjoying full capacity for the purpose cannot be compelled to take out a local license for the mere privilege of carrying on interstate or foreign commerce. Robbins v. Shelby County Taxing District, 120 U. S. 489, 496; Leloup v. Mobile, 127 U. S. 640, 645; Stoutenburgh v. Hennick, 129 U. S. 141, 148; McCall v. California, 136 U. S. 104, 109; Norfolk &c. R. R. Co. v. Pennsylvania, 136 U. S. 114; Crutcher v. Kentucky, supra, p. 58; Rearick v. Pennsylvania, 203 U. S. 507; Western Union Tel. Co. v. Kansas, 216 U. S. 1, 21; Pullman Co. v. Kansas, 216 U. S. 56;


International Text Book Co. v. Pigg, 217 U. S. 91, 109; Oklahoma v. Kansas Natural Gas Co., 221 U. S. 229, 260; Buck Stove Co. v. Vickers, 226 U. S. 205, 215; Crenshaw v. Arkansas, 227 U. S. 389; Minnesota Rate Cases, 230 U. S. 352, 400; Adams Express Co. v. New York, 232 U. S. 14, 31, 32.

Assuming that, by reason of the local considerations pertinent to the operation of ferries, there exists in the absence of Federal action a local protective power to prevent extortion in the rates charged for ferriage from the shore of the State, and to prescribe reasonable regulations necessary to secure good order and convenience, we think that the action of the city in the present case in requiring the appellee to take out a license, and to pay a license fee, for the privilege of transacting the business conducted at its wharf, was beyond the power which the State could exercise either directly or by delegation. In this view, it is unnecessary to consider the question raised with respect to the treaty with Great Britain.

The decree restraining the enforcement of the ordinance in question as against the appellee is affirmed.


234 U. S.




Nos. 567, 568. Argued October 28, 29, 1913.-Decided June 8, 1914.

The object of the commerce clause was to prevent interstate trade from being destroyed or impeded by the rivalries of local governments; and it is the essence of the complete and paramount power confided

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to Congress to regulate interstate commerce that wherever it exists it dominates.

Wherever the interstate and intrastate transactions of carriers are so related that the government of the one involves the control of the other, it is Congress, and not the State, that is entitled to prescribe the final and dominant rule; otherwise the Nation would not be supreme within the National field.

While Congress does not possess authority to regulate the internal commerce of a State, as such, it does possess power to foster and protect interstate commerce, although in taking necessary measures so to do it may be necessary to control intrastate transactions of interstate carriers.

The use by the State of an instrument of interstate commerce in a discriminatory manner so as to inflict injury on any part of that commerce is a ground for Federal intervention; nor can a State authorize a carrier to do that which Congress may forbid and has forbidden.

In removing injurious discriminations against interstate traffic arising from the relation of intrastate to interstate rates Congress is not bound to reduce the latter to the level of the former.

Congress having the power to control intrastate charges of an interstate carrier to the extent necessary to prevent injurious discrimination against interstate commerce may provide for its execution through the aid of a subordinate body.

By § 3 of the Act to Regulate Commerce, 24 Stat. 379, 380, Congress has delegated to the Interstate Commerce Commission power to prevent all discriminations against interstate commerce by interstate carriers, subject to the Act, which it is within the power of Congress to condemn.

Where the Interstate Commerce Commission has found after due investigation that unjust discrimination against localities exists under substantially similar conditions of transportation the Commission has power to correct it; and this notwithstanding the limitations contained in the proviso to § 1 of the Act to Regulate Commerce. The earlier action of the Interstate Commerce Commission was not of such controlling character as to preclude the Commission from giving effect to the Act to Regulate Commerce, and in this case having, after examination of the question of its authority, decided to make a remedial order to prevent unjust discrimination and the Commerce Court having sustained that authority of the Commission, this court should not reverse unless, as is not the case, the law has been misapplied.

Counsel for Parties.

234 U. S.

No local rule can nullify the lawful exercise of Federal authority; and after the Interstate Commerce Commission has made an order within its jurisdiction there is no compulsion on the carrier to comply with any inconsistent local requirement.

Although there is gravity in any question presented when state and Federal views conflict, it has been recognized from the beginning that this Nation could not prosper if interstate and foreign trade were governed by many masters; and where the freedom of such commerce is involved the judgment of Congress and the agencies it lawfully establishes must control.

An order made by the Interstate Commerce Commission that in order

to correct discrimination found to exist against specified localities interstate carriers should desist from charging higher rates for transportation between certain specified interstate points than between certain specified intrastate points, held to be within the power delegated by Congress to the Commission; also held, that so far as the carriers' interstate rates conformed to what was found to be reasonable by the Commission, they were entitled to maintain them, and that they were free to comply with the order by so adjusting their intrastate rates, to which the order related, as to remove the forbidden discrimination.

205 Fed. Rep. 380, affirmed.

THE facts, which involve the validity of an order of the Interstate Commerce Commission relating to rates between Shreveport, Louisiana, and points within the State of Texas, and the effect of orders of the Railroad Commission of the State of Texas in regard to rates wholly within that State, are stated in the opinion.

Mr. Hiram M. Garwood, with whom Mr. Maxwell Evarts, Mr. James G. Wilson, Mr. George Thompson, Mr. W. L. Hall and Mr. Thomas J. Freeman were on the brief, for appellants.

Mr. Assistant Attorney General Denison, with whom Mr. Thurlow M. Gordon, Special Assistant to the Attorney General, was on the brief, for the United States.

Mr. P. J. Farrell for the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Opinion of the Court.

Mr. Ruffin G. Pleasant, Attorney General of the State of Louisiana, and Mr. Luther M. Walter, with whom Mr. W. M. Barrow, Mr. M. W. Borders and Mr. John S. Burchmore were on the brief, for the Railroad Commission of Louisiana, Intervenor.

MR. JUSTICE HUGHES delivered the opinion of the court.

These suits were brought in the Commerce Court by the Houston, East & West Texas Railway Company, and the Houston & Shreveport Railroad Company, and by the Texas & Pacific Railway Company, respectively, to set aside an order of the Interstate Commerce Commission, dated March 11, 1912, upon the ground that it exceeded the Commission's authority. Other railroad companies 1 intervened in support of the petitions, and the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Railroad Commission of Louisiana intervened in opposition. The petitions were dismissed. 205 Fed. Rep. 380.

The order of the Interstate Commerce Commission was made in a proceeding initiated in March, 1911, by the Railroad Commission of Louisiana. The complaint was that the appellants, and other interstate carriers, maintained unreasonable rates from Shreveport, Louisiana, to various points in Texas, and, further, that these carriers in the adjustment of rates over their respective lines unjustly discriminated in favor of traffic within the State of Texas and against similar traffic between Louisiana and Texas. The carriers filed answers; numerous pleas of intervention by shippers and commercial bodies were allowed; testimony was taken and arguments were heard.

The gravamen of the complaint, said the Interstate

234 U. S.

1 The Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company of Texas, the St. Louis Southwestern Railway Company, and the St. Louis Southwestern Railway Company of Texas.

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