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McKENNA, J., dissenting.
elevator was used for storing its own grain only. The state court decided that the business was of a "public character” and was "sufficiently affected with a public interest to warrant a very considerable amount of regulation of it by the State.” This conclusion was put upon the ground that the elevator was a kind of public market place and it was important to see that correct weights were had, uniform grades given, proper amount of dockage taken and no dishonest practice allowed. The provision for a license was sustained. The act, however, provided for many other regulations, among others, for the receipt and storage of the grain of others and the rates of charges therefor. The state court, passing on these and other regulations, said that there were many provisions in the act which applied only to warehouses and elevators in which grain was stored for others or for the public and which could not apply to such warehouses as the one in question, and there were perhaps provisions in the act which it would be unconstitutional to apply to such warehouses. The court, however, said, “Such matters need not be considered at this time. The provision recognizing license is not one of these.” One of the judges of the court was of opinion that on account of the interdependence of the provisions of the act. many of them, when applied to warehouses not used for the storage of grain by others, were beyond the police power of the State and, therefore, invalid, and made the whole act so. This court, by Mr. Justice Harlan, sustained the judgment of the state court and said "that the mere requirement of a license was not forbidden by the Fourteenth Amendment.” Answering the suggestion that other provisions were repugnant to the Constitution of the United States, it was said that the license would give authority to carry on the business under the valid laws of the State and the valid regulations of the Commission. The case, therefore, manifestly decides that the use of the warehouse by others could not
234 U. S.
MCKENNA, J., dissenting.
have been legally compelled, and in the other cases, as we have
seen, it was the act of the parties, not the power of the law, which devoted the property to the public interest. In the Munn Case it was said of the owners of the elevators that there was no attempt to compel them “to grant the public an interest in their property, but to declare their obligations if they used it in this particular manner.” And further, “He may withdraw his grant by discontinuing the use; but so long as he maintains the use, he must submit to the control."
In the cases cited, therefore, there was a regulation of uses which were extended voluntarily to others. I recall no case where the use was compelled and by the use so compelled regulation was justified. The case at bar has no fellow in our jurisprudence.
These considerations are not touched upon in the opinion of the court, and how far they affect the decision can only be conjectured. It may be not at all. At any rate, other considerations are given explicit prominence. The impulse of the amendment is said to be the control which the Standard Oil Company had acquired over the pipe-line transportation of oil. It is further said that it availed “itself of its monopoly of the means of transportation" by refusing to carry “through its subordinates any oil unless the same was sold to them and through them to it on terms more or less dictated by itself, and thereby became master of the fields without owning them.” It is not very clear whether this is intended as a statement merely of the motive of the amendment or of its legal justification. If stated as the motive of the amendment I have no concern with it; as a justification of the amendment its foundation must be considered
The facts of the cases the opinion of the court does not give. They are, however, quite necessary to a discussion of the questions which they present. I quote the summary of the Commerce Court (p. 802):
MCKENNA, J., disseinting.
“The Prairie Oil and Gas Company is a corporation organized in 1900 under the laws of the State of Kansas. It owns and operates a system of pipe lines consisting of gathering lines in the mid-continent field, in the States of Kansas and Oklahoma, a trunk line from that field to Griffith in the State of Indiana, where it connects with the Indiana pipe line, and a trunk line in the State of Arkansas, connecting the Oklahoma pipe line with the pipe line of the Standard Oil Company of Louisiana. This company has no refinery, and its business is confined to producing, purchasing, and selling crude oil, which it delivers to its customers by means of the pipe lines described. Its own wells yield only about 12,000 barrels per day and it purchases approximately 70,000 barrels per day on the average. Its trunk lines are about 860 miles in length, of which some 300 miles are located on the right of way of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company under contract arrangement with that company:
“The Uncle Sam Oil Company is a corporation organized in 1905 under the laws of the State (then Territory) of Arizona. It owns and operates a pipe line from its wells in the State of Oklahoma to its refinery at Cherryvale, Kans. The extent to which this company purchases oil from other producers, if it engages in that business at all, does not appear from the record.
“Robert D. Benson et al. are the members of a partnership, organized in 1878 for the term of 20 years and reorganized in 1898 for a further term of 20 years, in compliance with the laws of the State of Pennsylvania, and doing business under the name of the Tide-Water Pipe Co. (Ltd.). This company transports oil from the Appalachian field in the western part of Pennsylvania, and also oil received through connecting lines from other fields, to the Tide-Water Oil Co. refinery at Bayonne, in the State of New Jersey. It also owns and operates branch lines in New York and Pennsylvania, and a line extending
MCKENNA, J., dissenting.
from Stoy, Ill., through the States of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The greater part of the crude oil transported by this company is purchased from other producers. The lines which it owns and the Bayonne refinery which it serves are under common or unified control.
“The Ohio Oil Co. is a corporation organized in 1887 under the laws of the State of Ohio. It owns and operates pipe lines in the States of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois and also leases and operates a line from Negley, Ohio, to Centerbridge, in the State of Pennsylvania. It is an extensive purchaser of crude oil from other producers.
“Standard Oil Company, designated, for convenience, ‘Standard Oil Company of New Jersey,' is a corporation organized in 1882 under the laws of the State of New Jersey, and its principal pipe lines are the following: (a) A line extending from Unionville, in the State of New York, near the boundary line of New Jersey, through the latter State to its refineries at Bayonne; (b) a line from Centerbridge, in the State of Pennsylvania, near the boundary of New Jersey, through the latter State to its refineries at Bayonne and Bayway; and (c) a line from Fawn Grove, in the State of Pennsylvania, near the boundary of Maryland, through the latter State to its refinery at Baltimore. The record indicates that much the greater part of the oil transported through these lines, and perhaps all of it, is oil which this company has purchased.
“The Standard Oil Company of Louisiana is a corporation organized in 1909 under the laws of that State. It owns and operates a refinery at Baton Rouge and a trunk line extending thereto from the town of Ida, near the northern line of Louisiana, and also gathering lines in the Caddo field, in the States of Louisiana and Texas. It purchases a considerable part of the crude oil which its lines transport.
“None of the petitioning corporations is organized or
MCKENNA, J., dissenting.
234 U. S.
derives any of its corporate powers from laws of the State of its creation under which common carrier or other public service corporations are organized, but each of them was formed and has always conducted its operations under and in compliance with state laws which relate to private as distinguished from public business."
The companies do not possess the right of eminent domain, and their lines are laid over private rights of way, except some of them for short distances have laid their lines along the rights of way of certain railroads under some contract arrangement with the railroads, one of them for a distance of about 300 miles. They, however, have in many instances also laid their lines across or along public streets and highways by permission or consent of the local authorities. None of them has ever held itself out as a common carrier or in fact ever carried oil for others, but they have carried only such oil as they produced from their own wells or purchased from othe. producers and which they owned when the transportation took place.
Concluding its recitation of facts, the Commerce Court said (p. 803): “In short, so far as their legal status is fixed by the laws of the States of their creation, and so far as their acts and attitude could make them such, all the petitioners [appellee companies) carry on a private business, at least in the sense that they transport only their own oil and have always refused to transport for others; and all of them have evidently sought and claimed to so conduct their operations as to avoid any public activity which might subject them to public regulation.”
These being the facts, it is yet insisted that the appellee companies are common carriers “in substance" and Congress by its action has only made them so "in form," and that this is unquestionably within the power of Congress. But there is something more to be considered than an antithesis of words. There is an antithesis of