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PENNSYLVANIA R.R. CO. v. UNITED STATES

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


April 23, 1965

The PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY
v.
UNITED STATES of America and Interstate Commerce Commission

Per Curiam

We are here asked to hold that the Interstate Commerce Commission must extend its economic regulation into certain areas pertaining to '* * * for hire motor transportation within the confines of a single state' *fn1" -- even though the Commission (by a majority) *fn2" has held that there is no statutory jurisdiction for the economic regulation of the type requested by petitioners. Little can be added to the careful analysis of the Commission's opinion, which notes the past dichotomies and conflicts between various divisions within the Commission, and the historical and statutory basis for its present legal conclusions.

Almost three decades ago in Pennsylvania R.R Co. v. Public Utilities Commission (1936) 298 U.S. 170, 174, 56 S. Ct. 687, 688-689, 80 L. Ed. 1130, Justice Cardozo spoke with clarity when noting that:

 'The question for us here is not whether the movement * * * is to be classified as commerce or even as commerce between states. The question is whether it is that particular form of interstate commerce which Congress has subjected to regulation in respect of rates by a federal commission.' (Emphasis added.)

 The Supreme Court held that Congress had not granted to the Commission jurisdiction to regulate the rates then in issue. In Pennsylvania R.R. Co., supra, the Court was considering Part I of the Interstate Commerce Act (49 U.S.C. §§ 1-26) and in the instant matter we are construing Part II of the Interstate Commerce Act (49 U.S.C. §§ 301-327). Nevertheless we feel, as did the Commission below, *fn3" that the logic of Pennsylvania R.R. Co., supra, is equally applicable to Part II, and that there are no sufficiently significant statutory differences to warrant a different result. Thus we affirm the order and holding of the Commission below.


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