Commerce, Court of

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COMMERCE, COURT OF, created by act of Congress, 18 June 1910, intended to provide a specialized tribunal for the increasingly complex volume of trade litigation. It consisted of five judges appointed by the president for five-year terms. Its jurisdiction covered all civil suits arising under the Interstate Commerce Act, the Elkins Act, and the Interstate Commerce Commission. Early on, the court appeared unduly solicitous for railroad interests and inclined to hamper effective regulation by the Interstate Commerce Commission. A strong congressional minority opposed its creation in 1910. When one of its members, Judge Robert W. Archbald, was impeached, convicted of corruption, and removed from the bench in 1913, the demand became so imperative that Congress dissolved the court on 22 October 1913.


Berk, Gerald. Alternative Tracks: The Constitution of American Industrial Order, 1965–1917. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.

Kolko, Gabriel. Railroads and Regulation, 1877–1916. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1965.

Thomas, William G. Lawyering for the Railroad: Business, Law, and Power in the New South. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1999.

W. A.Robinson/h. s.

See alsoCommerce Clause ; Interstate Commerce Commission ; Interstate Commerce Laws .

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Commerce, Court of

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