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American Trucking Assns., Inc. v. United States, 344 U.S. 298 (1953)

American Trucking Associations, Inc. v. United States

Argued November 17-18, 1952

Decided January 12, 1953*

344 U.S. 298


Under the Motor Carrier Act, 1935, as amended, the Interstate Commerce Commission promulgated rules governing the use by authorized motor carriers of equipment not owned by them but leased from the owners or obtained by interchange with other authorized motor carriers. These rules abolish trip leasing and revenue splitting with driver owners; require written contracts, carrier inspection, control and responsibility for nonowned equipment, and, for interchanged equipment, require drivers employed by the certified carrier over whose route it travels.


1. The promulgation of these rules for authorized carriers is within the Commission's power, despite the absence of specific reference to leasing practices in the Act. Pp. 344 U. S. 308-313.

2. The rules do not violate the National Transportation Policy. Pp. 344 U. S. 313-314.

3. The rules and the exemptions therefrom are not unreasonable. Pp. 344 U. S. 314-316.

4. The rules do not violate § 208(a) or § 209(b), protecting the carriers' right to augment their equipment. Pp. 344 U. S. 316-317.

5. They do not violate § 203(b)(6), which exempts from the Commission's jurisdiction vehicles used in carrying only livestock, fish, or agricultural commodities -- though they may increase the cost of operating such vehicles. Pp. 344 U. S. 317-318.

6. Nor were the rules the product of proceedings fatally at variance with requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. Pp. 344 U. S. 318-320.

(a) Section 7(c) of the Administrative Procedure Act, providing that the proponent of a rule "shall have the burden of proof," is inapplicable, since these rules were promulgated under

Page 344 U. S. 299

§ 204(a)(6) of the Motor Carrier Act, which requires no record or hearing. Pp. 344 U. S. 318-320.

(b) Similarly inapplicable is § 8(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires that decisions shall include a statement of "findings and conclusions." P. 344 U. S. 320.

7. In a carrier's suit to enjoin enforcement of these rules, the District Court did not err in refusing to permit introduction of evidence of "confiscation," though the rules may affect the value of some going concerns. Pp. 344 U. S. 320-323.

101 F.Supp. 710 and 103 F.Supp. 694, affirmed.

Two federal district courts declined to enjoin enforcement of rules promulgated by the Interstate Commerce Commission governing the use by motor carriers of equipment not owned by them. 101 F.Supp. 710; 103 F.Supp. 694. On appeal to this Court, affirmed, p. 344 U. S. 323.

Page 344 U. S. 300

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