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Arkansas Natural Gas Co. v. Arkansas R. Comm'n, 261 U.S. 379 (1923)

Arkansas Natural Gas Company v.

Arkansas Railroad Commission

No. 500

Argued February 21, 1923

Decided March 19, 1923

261 U.S. 379


1. The power of a state to abrogate private contracts touching the rates of public utilities exists only as an incident to the regulation of such utilities and their rates in the public interest. P. 261 U. S. 382.

2. A statute will be construed if possible to uphold it as constitutional. P. 261 U. S. 383.

3. A statute of Arkansas transferring to the Railroad Commission jurisdiction formerly possessed by the Corporation Commission, including pending cases, but denying power to modify or impair existing contracts for supplying natural gas, construed as not singling out a particular gas company whose claim, that divisional rates fixed by contract between it and distributors were inadequate, was pending before the latter Commission. Id.

4. An exception in a statute will not be taken as intended and operating to work an arbitrary discrimination against a particular party when it may be construed as a general one and nothing appears to prove either that there are not other cases within its purview or that it is based on arbitrary classification. P. 261 U. S. 384.


Appeal from a decree of the district court denying in part an application for a preliminary injunction.

Page 261 U. S. 380

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