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BALTIMORE AND OHIO RAILROAD COMPANY v. INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION.

decided: May 29, 1911.

BALTIMORE AND OHIO RAILROAD COMPANY
v.
INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION.



APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND.

Author: Hughes

[ 221 U.S. Page 613]

 MR. JUSTICE HUGHES delivered the opinion of the court.

This is a bill in equity to annul an order made by the Interstate Commerce Commission on March 3, 1908, and for injunction. The order required the carriers within the provisions of the act of Congress of March 4, 1907, chapter 2939, 34 Stat. 1415, to make monthly reports, under oath, showing the instances where employes subject to that act had been on duty for a longer period than that allowed. The statute, entitled "An act to promote the safety of employes and travelers upon railroads by limiting the hours of service of employes thereon," is set forth in the margin.*fn1

[ 221 U.S. Page 614]

     By stipulation there were introduced into the record additional instructions issued by the Commission under date of August 15, 1908. These prescribed new forms, and also a separate form of oath for use in case there had been no excessive service; and it was further directed that reports of hours of service of the employes described should be made by the secretary or similar officer of the carrier.

It was agreed that a number of like suits brought by other carriers should abide the final disposition of this cause and that meanwhile the reports should not be required.

The bill alleged that the purpose of the Commission in

[ 221 U.S. Page 615]

     making the order was to secure from carriers evidence of infractions of the law in order that suits might be brought to recover penalties; that, even if this were not the purpose, the result of the requirement would be the same, because of the provision that the Commission should lodge with the proper district attorneys information of the violations coming to its knowledge; and that this compulsory disclosure, both as to the corporation itself and as to the officers concerned in such violations, was repugnant to the Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution of the United States. It was also alleged

[ 221 U.S. Page 616]

     that the Commission was without authority to make the order, either under the provisions of the act or otherwise.

A demurrer for want of equity was sustained, and the complainant appeals.

First. Although the question was not specifically raised by the bill, it is now contended that the statute is unconstitutional in its entirety and therefore no action of the Commission can be based upon it. It is said that it goes beyond the power which Congress may exercise in the regulation of interstate commerce; that while addressed to common carriers engaged in interstate transportation by railroad to any extent whatever, its prohibitions and penalties are not limited to interstate commerce, but apply to intrastate railroads and to employes engaged in local business.

The prohibitions of the act are found in ยง 2. This provides that it shall be "unlawful for any common carrier, its officers or agents, subject to this Act to require or permit any employe subject to this Act to be or remain on duty" for a longer period than that prescribed. The ...


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