governed from one end to the other of his route is a necessity in his business, and to secure it Congress, which is untrammeled by state lines, has been invested with the exclusive legislative power of determining what such regulations shall be. If this statute can be enforced against those engaged in interstate commerce, it may as well be against those engaged in foreign; and the master of a ship clearing from New Orleans for Liverpool, having passengers on board, would be compelled to carry all, white and colored, in the same cabin during his passage down the river, or be subject to an action for damages, exemplary as well as actual, by anyone who felt himself aggrieved because he had been excluded on account of his color.

brought an action in the district court for the parish of New Orleans, under the provisions of the act above referred to. By way of defense it was insisted that the statute was void in respect to the matter complained of, because, as to the business of the steamboat, it was an attempt to regulate commerce between the states, and therefore in conflict with the Constitution of the United States. The state court held that the statute was valid, and the case was brought to this court, where the judgment of the state court was reversed. The reasoning of the court is so closely applicable to the case before us that we quote a considerable part of the opinion: "We think that it may be safely said that state legislation which seeks to impose a direct burden upon interstate commerce, or to "This power of regulation may be exerinterfere directly with its freedom, does en- cised without legislation as well as with it. croach upon the exclusive power of Congress. By refraining from action, Congress in efThe statute now under consideration, in our fect adopts as its own regulations those opinion, occupies that position. It does not which the common law, or the civil law act upon the business through the local in- where that prevails, has provided *for the[318] struments to be employed after coming with- government of such business, and those in the state, but directly upon the business which the states, in the regulation of their as it comes into the state from without, or domestic concerns, have established affecting goes out from within. While it purports only commerce, but not regulating it within the to control the carrier when engaged within meaning of the Constitution. In fact, conthe state, it must necessarily influence his gressional legislation is only necessary to conduct to some extent in the management cure defects in existing laws, as they are disof his business throughout his entire voyage. covered, and to adapt such laws to new deHis disposition of passengers taken up and velopments of trade. As was said by Mr. put down within the state, or taken up with- Justice Field, speaking for the court in Welin to be carried without, cannot but affect ton v. Missouri, 91 U. S. 282 [23: 350]: 'Inin a greater or less degree those taken up action by Congress is equivalent to a declarawithout and brought within, and sometimes tion that interstate commerce shall remain those taken up and put down without. A free and untrammeled.' Applying that prinpassenger in the cabin set apart for the use ciple to the circumstances of this case, conof whites without the state must, when the gressional inaction left the captain of the boat comes within, share the accommoda- steamboat to adopt such reasonable rules and tions of that cabin with such colored per-regulations for the disposition of passengers sons as may come on board afterwards, if the upon his boat, while pursuing her voyage law is enforced. within Louisiana or without, as seemed to him most for the interest of all concerned. The statute under which this suit is brought, as construed by the state court, seeks to take away from him that power so long as he is within Louisiana; and while recognizing to the fullest extent the principle which sustains a statute unless its unconstitutionality is clearly established, we think this statute, to the extent that it requires those engaged in the transportation of passengers among the states to carry colored passengers in Louisiana in the same cabin with whites is unconstitutional and void. If the public good requires such legislation, it must come from Congress, and not from the states." Hall v. De Cuir, 95 U. S. 485 [24: 547].

[312] *"It was to meet just such a case that the commercial clause in the Constitution was adopted. The river Mississippi passes through or along the borders of ten different states, and its tributaries reach many more. The commerce upon these waters is immense, and its regulation clearly a matter of national concern. If each state was at liberty to regulate the conduct of carriers while within its jurisdiction, the confusion likely to follow could not but be productive of great inconvenience and unnecessary hardships. Each state could provide for its own passengers and regulate the transportation of its own freight regardless of the interests of others. Nay, more, it could prescribe rules by which the carrier must be governed within the state in respect to passengers and property brought from without. On one side of the river or its tributaries he might be required to observe one set of rules, and on the other another. Commerce cannot flourish in the midst of such embarrassments. No carrier of passengers can conduct his business with satisfaction to himself or comfort to those employing him, if on one side of a state line his passengers, both white and colored, must be permitted to occupy the same cabin, and on the other be kept separate. Uniform-pensation than is at the same time charged, ity in the regulations by which he is to be collected, or received for the transportation

The state of Illinois enacted that if any railroad corporation shall charge, collect, or receive for the transportation of any passenger or freight of any description upon its railroad, for any distance within the state, the same or a greater amount of toll or com

I am not able to think that this decision is satisfactorily disposed of, in the principal opinion, by citing it, and then dismissing it with the observation that it is not perceived that there is any conflict between it and that now made.

in the same direction of any passenger or like quantity of freight, of the same class, over a greater distance of the same road, all [314] such discriminating rates, charges, collections, or receipts, whether made directly or by the means of a rebate, drawback, or other shift or evasion, shall be deemed and taken against any such railroad company as prima facie evidence of unjust discrimination prohibited by the provisions of the act. The act further provided a penalty of not over $5,000, and also that the party aggrieved should have a right to recover three times the amount of damages sustained, with costs and attorney's fees. Rev. Stat. Ill. chap. 114, § 126.

to central Illinois, or from the latter to New York, is obvious, and it is not easy to see how any distinction can be made. Whatever may be the instrumentalities by which this transportation from the one point to the other is effected, it is but one voyage, as much so as that of the steamboat on the Mississippi river. It is not the railroads themselves that are regulated by this act of the Illinois legislature, so much as the charge for transportation; and, in the language just cited, if each one of the states through whose territories these goods are transported can fix its own rules for prices, for modes of transit, for terms and modes of delivery, and all the other incidents of transportation to which the word 'regulation' can be applied, it is readily seen that the embarrassments upon interstate transportation, as an element of interstate commerce, might be too oppressive to be submitted to. 'It was,' in the language of the court cited above, 'to meet just such a case that the commerce clause of the Constitution was adopted.'

"It cannot be too strongly insisted upon that the right of continuous transportation from one end of the country to the other is essential in modern times to that freedom of commerce from the restraints which the states might choose to impose upon it, that the commerce clause was intended to secure. This clause giving to Congress the power to regulate commerce among the states and with foreign nations, as this court has said before, was among the most important of the

An action to recover penalties under this statute was brought by Illinois against the Wabash, St. Louis, and Pacific Railway Company, an Illinois corporation in which the allegations were that the railroad company had charged Elder & McKinney for transporting goods from Peoria, in the state of Illinois, to New York City, at the rate of fifteen cents per hundred pounds for a carload; that on the same day the railroad company had charged one Bailey for transporting similar goods from Gilman to New York City at the rate of twenty-five cents per hundred pounds per car-load; that the carload for Elder & McKinney was carred eighty-six miles further in the state of Illinois than the other carload of the same weight; that this freight, being of the same class in both instances, and over the same road, except as to the difference in the distance, made a dis-subjects which prompted the formation of[316] crimination forbidden by the statute, whether the charge was regarded for the whole distance from the terminal point in Illinois to New York City, or the proportionate charge for the haul within the state of Illinois. Judgment went against the company in the courts of the state of Illinois, and the case was brought to this court.

It was here strenuously contended that, in the absence of congressional legislation a state legislature has the power to regulate the charges made by the railroads of the state for transporting goods and passengers to and from places within the state, when such goods and passengers are brought from or carried to points without the state, and are therefore in the course of transportation from any state or to another state. And of that view were several justices of this court, who, in the opinion filed on their behalf. [315 cited the very cases that art cited and relied on in the majority opinion in the present


But the court did not so hold, and its reasoning is so plainly applicable to the question now before us, it may well be quoted at some length.

After having reviewed some of the previous cases, and having quoted those passages in the opinion of the court in Hall v. De Cuir, 95 U. S. 485 [24: 547], which have hereinbefore been quoted, Mr. Justice Miller, giving the opinion of the court, proceeded as follows:

"The applicability of this language to the case now under consideration, of a continuous transportation of goods from New York

the Constitution. Cook v. Pennsylvania, 97 U. S. 574 [24:1018]; Brown v. Maryland, 12 Wheat. 446 [6: 688]. And it would be a very feeble and almost useless provision, but poorly adapted to secure the entire freedem of commerce among the states which was deemed essential to a more perfect union by the framers of the Constitution, if, at every stage of the transportation of goods and chattels through the country, the state within whose limits a part of this transportation must be done could impose regulations concerning the price, compensation, or taxation, or any other restrictive regulation interfering with and seriously embarrassing this commerce.

"The argument on this subject can never be better stated than it is by Chief Justice Marshall in Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1, 195, 196 [6: 23, 69 70]. He there demonstrates that commerce among the states, like commerce with foreign nations, is necessarily a commerce which crosses state lines and extends into the states, and the power of Congress to regulate it exists wherever that commerce is found. Speaking of navigation as an element of commerce, which it is. only as a means of transportation now largely superseded by railroads, he says: "The power of Congress, then, comprehends navigation within the limits of every state in the Union, so far as that navigation may be, in any manner, connected with commerce with foreign nations, or among the several states, or with the Indian tribes. It may, of con sequence, pass the jurisdictional line of New York and act upon the very waters, the Hud

son river, to which the prohibition now under consideration applies.' So the same power may pass the line of the state of Illinois and act upon its restriction upon the right of transportation extending over several states, including that one.


In the case of Western U. Telegraph Co. Texas, 105 U. S. 460 [26: 1067], the court eld that a telegraph company occupies the same relation to commerce as a carrier of messages that a railroad company does as a carrier of goods, and that both companies are instruments of commerce, and their business is commerce itself. In the case of Welton v. Missouri, 91 U. S. 275 [23: [317]347], it was said: *It will not be denied that that portion of commerce with foreign nations and between the states which consists in the transportation and exchange of commodities is of national importance,and admits and requires uniformity of regulation. The very object of investing this power in the general government was to insure this uniformity against discriminating state legislation.' And in County of Mobile v. Kimball, 102 U. S. 702 [26: 241], the same idea is very clearly stated in the following language: 'Commerce with foreign countries and among the states, strictly considered, consists in intercourse and traffic, including in these terms navigation and the transportation and transit of persons and property, as well as the purchase, sale, and exchange of commodities. For the regulation of commerce, as thus defined, there can be only one system of rules, applicable alike to the whole country; and the authority which can act for the whole country can alone adopt such a system. Action upon it by separate states is not, therefore, permissible. Language affirming the exclusiveness of the grant of power over commerce as thus defined may not be inaccurate, when it would be so if applied to legislation upon subjects which are merely auxiliary to commerce.' We must therefore hold that it is not, and never has been, the deliberate opinion of a majority of this court, that the statute of a state which attempts to regulate the fares and charges by railroad companies within its limits, for a transportation which constitutes a part of commerce among the states, is a valid law.

uous track, I am met by a law of Illinois which forbids me to make a free contract concerning this transportation within that state, and subjects me to certain rules by which I am to be governed as to the charges which the same railroad company in Illinois may make, or has made, with reference to other persons and other places of delivery.' So that while that carrier might be willing to carry these goods from the city of New York to the city of Peoria at the rate of fifteen cents per hundred pounds, he is not permitted to do so because the Illinois railroad company has already charged at the rate of twenty-five cents per hundred pounds for carriage to Gilman, in Illinois, which is eighty-six miles shorter than the distance to Peoria.

"Let us see precisely what is the degree of interference with the transportation of property or persons from one state to another which this statute proposes. A citizen of New York has goods which he desires to have transported by the railroad companies from that city to the interior of the state of Illinois. A continuous line of rail over which a car loaded with these goods can be carried, and is carried habitually, connects the place of shipment with the place of delivery. He undertakes to make a contract with a person engaged in the carrying business at the end of this route from whence the goods are to start, and he is told by the car[318]rier, 'I am free to make a fair and reasonable contract for this carriage to the line of the state of Illinois, but when the car which carries these goods is to cross the line of that state, pursuing at the same time this contin

"So also, in the present case, the owner of corn, the principal product of the country, desiring to transport it from Peoria, in Illinois, to New York, finds a railroad company willing to do this at the rate of fifteen cents per hundred pounds for a carload, but he is compelled to pay at the rate of twentyfive cents per hundred pounds because the railroad company has received from a person residing at Gilman twenty-five cents per hundred pounds for the transportation of a carload of the same class of freight over the same line of road from Gilman to New York. This is the result of the statute of Illinois, in its endeavor to prevent unjust discrimination, as construed by the supreme court of that state. The effect of it is, that whatever may be the rate of transportation per mile charged by the railroad company from Gilman to Sheldon, a distance of twenty-three miles, in which the loading and unloading of the freight is the largest expense incurred by the railroad company, the same rate per mile must be charged from Peoria to the city of New York.

"The obvious injustice of such a rule as this, which railroad companies are compelled by heavy penalties to conform to, in regard to commerce among the states, when applied to transportation which includes Illinois in a long line of carriage through several[319) states shows the value of the constitutional provision which confides the power of regulating interstate commerce to the Congress of the United States, whose enlarged view of the interests of all the states, and of the railroads concerned, better fits it to establish just and equitable rates.

"Of the justice or propriety of the principle which lies at the foundation of the Illinois statute, it is not the province of this court to speak. As restricted to a transportation which begins and ends within the limits of the state, it may be very just and equitable, and it certainly is the province of the state legislature, to determine that question. But when it is attempted to apply to transportation through an entire series of states a principle of this kind, and each one of the states shall attempt to establish its own rates of transportation, its own methods to prevent discrimination in rates, or to permit it, the deleterious influence upon the freedom of commerce among the states and upon the transit of goods through those

states cannot be overestimated. That this
species of regulation is one which must be,
if established at all, of a general and nation-
al character, and cannot be safely and wise-
ly remitted to local rules and local regula-
tions, we think is clear from what has al-
ready been said. And if it be a regulation
of commerce, as we think we have
demonstrated it is and as the Illinois
court concedes it to be, it must be of
that national character, and the regulation
can only appropriately exist by general rules
and principles which demand that it should
be done by the Congress of the United States
under the commerce clause of the Constitu-
tion." Wabash, St. Louis, & Pac. Railway
Co. v. Illinois, 118 U. S. 557 [30: 244, 1 In-
ters. Com. Rep. 31].

This case, so recent and so elaborately con-
sidered, has not received adequate attention
in the opinion of the court in the present


tion of county seats to receive and let off passengers with safety.".

In April, 1891, a petition was filed in the circuit court for Alexander county, in the state of Illinois, by the county attorney in behalf of the state, alleging that the Illinois Central Railroad Company ran its southbound fast mail train through the city of Cairo, two miles north of its station in that city, and over a bridge across the Ohio river, connecting its road with other roads south of that river, without stopping at its station in[321] Cairo, and praying for a writ of mandamus to compel it to cause all its passenger trains coming into Cairo to be brought down to that station, and there stopped a sufficient length of time to receive and let off passengers with safety.

The railroad company contended that the statute did not require its fast mail train to be run to and stopped at its station in Cairo, and that the statute was contrary to the Constitution of the United States, as interfering with interstate commerce and with the carrying of the United States mail. The court granted the writ of mandamus, and the railroad company appealed to the supreme court of the state, which affirmed the judg ment, and held that the statute of Illinois concerning the stoppage of trains obliged the defendant to cause its fast mail train to be

The legislature of Illinois by the statute of February 10, 1851, incorporated the Illinois Central Railroad Company, and empowered it to construct and maintain a railroad with one or more tracks, from the southern terminus of the Illinois & Michigan Canal to a point at the city of Cairo, with the same to the city of Chicago on Lake Michigan, and [320]also a branch via the city of Galena to a point on the Mississippi river opposite the town of Dubuque, in the state of Iowa. The Chicago, St. Louis, & New Orleans Railroad Company was a consolidated company formed under the legislatures of the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky, whose line extended from New Orleans to the Ohio river, built a railroad bridge across the Ohio river to low-water mark on the Illinois side, to which the jurisdiction of the state of Kentucky extended. The north end of this bridge was at a part of Cairo about two miles north of the station of the Illinois Central Railroad Company in that city; and the peculiar conformation of the land and water made it impracticable to put the bridge nearer the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. By this bridge the road of the Illinois Central Railroad Company was thereby connected with that of the Chicago, St. Louis, & New Orleans Railroad Company. Thereafter the Illinois Central Railroad Company put on a daily fast mail train, to run from Chicago to New Orleans, carrying passengers as well as the United States mail, not going to or stopping at its station in Cairo; but local trains "The effect of the statute of Illinois, as adequate to afford accommodations for pas- construed and applied by the supreme court sengers to or from Cairo were run daily on that part of the railroad between the Bridge carrying interstate of the state, is to require a fast mail train passengers and the Junction and Cairo. By a subsequent act of United States mails from Chicago, in the 1889 it was enacted by the legislature of Ill-state of Illinois, to places south of the Ohio inois that "every railroad corporation shall river, over an interstate highway established cause its passenger trains to stop upon its by authority of Congress, to delay the trans-[322] arrival at each station advertised by such portation of such passengers and mail, by corporation as a place for receiving and dis- turning aside from the direct interstate route, charging passengers upon and from such and running to a station three miles and a trains, a sufficient length of time to receive half away from the point on that route. and and let off such passengers with safety: Pro- back again to the same point, and thus travvided, All regular passenger trains shall stop eling seven miles which form no part of its a sufficient length of time at the railroad sta- course, before proceeding on its way; and

taken into its station at Cairo, and be
stopped there long enough to receive and let
off passengers with safety, and that the stat-
ute, so construed, was not an unconstitution-
al interference with interstate commerce, or
with the carrying of the United States mails.
The case was brought to this court, where
the judgment of the supreme court of Illi-
nois was reversed in a unanimous opinion
delivered by Mr. Justice Gray. Illinois Cen-
tral R. R. Co. v. Illinois, 163 U. S. 142 [41:
107]. After reciting several statutes of Ill-
inois and of Congress, particularly the act
of June 15, 1866, wherein Congress, for the
declared purpose of facilitating commerce
among the several states and the postal and
military communications of the United
States, authorized every railroad company in
the United States, whose road was operated
by steam, to carry over its road, bridges, and
ferries, as well passengers and freight as
government mails, troops, and supplies,
from one state to another, and to connect, in
any state authorizing it to do so, with roads

of other states, so as to form a continuous
to say:
line of transportation, the court proceeded

ly to distinguish the Illinois case from the
present case? Merely that the through train
in the one case was obliged to go out of its
direct route some three or four miles, while
in the other the obligation is to stop at towns
through which the trains pass. But what was
the reason why this court held that the Illi-
nois statute was void as an interference with
interstate commerce? Was not the delay
thus caused the sole reason? And is there
any difference between a delay caused by
having to go a few miles out of a direct
course in a single instance, and one caused
by having to stop at a number of unim-
in-portant towns? Probably the excursion to
the Cairo station did not detain the Illinois
train more than half an hour; and it is ad-
mitted in the present case that the number
of villages in Ohio through which the trains
passed were thirteen, and that the average
time required to stop a train of cars and re-
ceive and leave off passengers would be three
minutes at each station, to say nothing of the
time expended in losing and in regaining
headway. Besides the delays thus caused,
there would be many inconveniences to the[324]
railroad companies and to the traveling pub-
lic occasioned by interfering with regula-
tions made for the comfort and safety of
through passengers.

Western Union Telegraph Co. v. James,
162 U. S. 650 [40: 1105], is cited by the court
as sustaining its present position. But that
was a case in which the legislation of the
state was of a nature that was in aid of the
performance of the duty of the company that
would exist in the absence of any such stat-
ute, and was in nowise obstructive of its duty
as a telegraph company, and the decision of
this court was expressly put upon that
ground. It was pointed out, in the opinion,
that the legislation in question could in no
way affect the conduct of the company with
regard to the performance of its duties in
other states, and that such important partic-
ular distinguished the case from Hall v. De
Cuir, 95 U. S. 485 [24: 511], and from West-
ern Union Telegraph Co. v. Pendleton,_122
U. S. 347 [30: 1187, 1 Inters. Com. Rep.

to do this for the purpose of discharging and receiving passengers at that station, for the interstate travel to and from which, as is admitted in this case, the railroad company furnishes other and ample accommodation. This court is unanimously of opinion that this requirement is an unconstitutional hindrance and obstruction of interstate commerce and of the passage of the mails of the United States. Upon the state of facts presented by this record the duties of the Illinois Central Railroad Company were not confined to those which it owed to the state of Illinois under the charter of the company and other laws of the state, but cluded distinct duties imposed upon the corporation by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

"The state may doubtless compel the railroad company to perform the duty imposed by its charter, of carrying passengers and goods between its termini within the state. But so long, at least, as that duty is adequately performed by the company the state cannot, under the guise of compelling its performance, interfere with the performance of paramount duties to which the company has been subjected by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

"The state may make reasonable regulations to secure the safety of passengers, even on interstate trains, while within its borders. But the state can do nothing which will directly burden or impede the interstate traffic of the company, or impair the usefulness of its facilities for such traffic."

Beyond the bare allegation that the case of Illinois Central R. R. Co. v. Illinois is not inconsistent with the views expressed in the present case, no attempt is made to compare or reconcile the principles involved in the two cases. It is, indeed, said that the Ohio statute "does not require the defendant company to turn any of its trains from their direct interstate route;" and the remark of the [323]court in the Illinois case is *cited, in which it was said "the question whether a statute which merely required interstate railroad trains, without going out of their course, to stop at county seats, would be within the constitutional power of the state, is not presented and cannot be decided upon this record." Reference is also made to the case of Gladson v. Minnesota, 166 U. S. 427 [41: 1064], as removing any doubt as to the scope of the decision in the Illinois case.

But an examination of that case will show that no question was presented or decided as to the power of a state to compel interstate railroad trains to stop at all county seats through which they might pass. On the contrary, the court was careful to say, distinguishing it from the Illinois case: "But in the case at bar the train in question ran wholly within the state of Minnesota, and could have stopped at the county seat of Pine county without deviating from its course;" and to point out that the statute of Minnesota expressly provided that this act shall not apply to through railroad trains entering this state from any other state, or to transcontinental trains of any railroad."

On what, then, does the court's opinion re

Richmond & A. R. R. Co. v. R. A. Patterson Tobacco Co. 169 U. S. 311 [42: 759], is cited as adjudging that a statute of Virginia defining the obligations of carriers who accept for transportation anything directed to points of destination beyond the termini of their own lines or routes was not, in its application to interstate business, a regulation of interstate commerce within the meaning of the Constitution. But the holding in that case simply was that the statute in question did not attempt to substantially regulate or control interstate shipments, but merely established a rule of evidence, ordaining the character of proof by which a carrier may show that, although it received goods for transportation beyond its own line. neverthe less by agreement its liability was limited to its own line, that the lawful exercise by a state of its power to determine the form in which contracts may be proved does not amount to a regulation of interstate commerce. The reasoning of the court went

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »