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A. L. Mechling Barge Lines, Inc. v. United States, 376 U.S. 375 (1964)

A. L. Mechling Barge Lines, Inc. v. United States

No. 58

Argued February 18, 1964

Decided March 23, 1964*

376 U.S. 375


The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), after a hearing, issued an order permitting appellee railroad to depart from the long- and short-haul restrictions of § 4 of the Interstate Commerce Act. The ICC refused to pass on: the contention of the appellant Board of Trade that the proposed rail rates discriminated against Chicago grain merchants and processors (§ 3(1) of the Act); appellant barge line's contention that the rates discriminated between connecting carriers (§ 3(4) of the Act); and the claim that the rates were not just and reasonable (§ 1(5) of the Act). Nor did the ICC make a direct finding, despite appellants' insistence, that the railroad's new rate structure did not violate the National Transportation Policy. The District Court approved the action of the Commission.

Held: Appellants' claims that the proposed rail rates violated other sections of the Act and were contrary to the National Transportation Policy were ripe for adjudication, and should have been considered in the § 4 proceeding; the ICC's failure to consolidate the issues and reach the merits of the several contentions could only result in manifest inequities, potential windfalls to some carriers, and contravention of the National Transportation Policy. Pp. 376 U. S. 376-388.

209 F.Supp. 744 reversed and remanded.

Page 376 U. S. 376

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