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SHIELDS V. UTAH IDAHO CENTRAL R. CO., 305 U. S. 177 (1938)

U.S. Supreme Court

Shields v. Utah Idaho Central R. Co., 305 U.S. 177 (1938)

Shields v. Utah Idaho Central Railroad Co.

No. 28

Argued October 19, 1938

Decided December 5, 1938

305 U.S. 177


1. Congress, having power to subject interstate railways to the requirements of the Railway Labor Act relating to labor relations, was empowered also to except interurban electric railways not operating as part of a general steam railroad system, and to confide the question of fact whether a particular railroad falls within the excepted category to determination, after hearing and upon evidence, by the Interstate Commerce Commission. P. 305 U. S. 170.

2. The conferring of authority, by the Railway Labor Act, upon the Interstate Commerce Commission to determine whether a particular electric railway is an interurban one is not an unconstitutional delegation of power. P. 305 U. S. 181.

3. Under § 1 of the Railway Labor Act, it is the function of the Interstate Commerce Commission to determine as matters of fact, not only whether an electric railway line is operated as part of a general steam railroad system of transportation, but also whether it is an "interurban" line. P. 305 U. S. 181.

4. The purpose of the Act in requiring a hearing on these matters by the Commission -- a hearing of evidence and argument -- is to comply with the requirements of due process. P. 305 U. S. 182.

Page 305 U. S. 178

5. The Commission's determination, made at the request of the Mediation Board, is binding on the Board and on the carrier. P. 305 U. S. 182.

6. A determination of the Interstate Commerce Commission, under the Railway Labor Act, that an electric line is not "interurban," though not, in itself, an "order," Shannahan v. United States, 303 U. S. 596, subjects the carrier to regulation by the Mediation Board and to criminal punishment if its orders are disobeyed, and its validity is subject to judicial review in suit in equity brought by the carrier against the United States Attorney to restrain prosecutions. P. 305 U. S. 182.

7. Upon review of such determination of the Interstate Commerce Commission, the question is whether the Commission acted within its statutory authority, and, where the requirement as to hearing was satisfied, the sole remaining question would be whether the Commission, in arriving at its determination, departed from the applicable rules of law and whether its finding had a basis in substantial evidence, or was arbitrary and capricious. P. 305 U. S. 184.

8. In this case, the determination of the Commission that complainant was not an "interurban" electric line finds support in evidence before the Commission, and was not arbitrary or capricious, nor did it depart from applicable principles of law. P. 305 U. S. 185.

95 F.2d 911 reversed.

Certiorari, 304 U.S. 556, to review the affirmance of a decree permanently enjoining a United States Attorney from instituting prosecutions under the Railway Labor Act. The Interstate Commerce Commission intervened as a party defendant. For the opinion of the Commission, see 214 I.C.C. 707.

Page 305 U. S. 179

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