Mann-Elkins Act 36 Stat. 539 (1910)

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MANN-ELKINS ACT 36 Stat. 539 (1910)

the elkins act of 1903 and the hepburn act of 1906, as well as the decisions they prompted, had reinvigorated the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) after disastrous Supreme Court decisions such as interstate commerce commission v. cincinnati, new orleans & texas pacific railway co. (1897). The Mann-Elkins Act granted the ICC, for the first time, the power to set original rates; it also authorized the commission to suspend applications for proposed rate increases until it had ascertained their reasonableness. Despite the statute's vesting the commission with such powers, determinations of reasonableness would still be subject to the extraordinarily flexible guidelines of the fair return rule laid down in smyth v. ames (1898). The act placed the ICC firmly in control by shifting the burden of proof on the question of reasonableness from the commission to the carriers. In addition, the act revived a prohibition against long haul-short haul discrimination, except where specifically allowed by the commission. The act also brought telephone, telegraph, and cable lines under icc jurisdiction. a unanimous Supreme Court sustained many of the act's provisions in United States v. Atchinson, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad (1914).

David Gordon
(1986)