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Syllabus.

lating to the matter under investigation before that body, makes a case

or controversy to which the judicial power of the United States extends. As every citizen is bound to obey the law and to yield obedience to the

constituted authorities acting within the law, the power conferred upon the Interstate Commerce Commission to require the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books, papers, and documents relating to a matter under investigation by it, imposes upon any one summoned by that body to appear and testify the duty of appearing and testifying, and upon any one required to produce such books, papers, and documents the duty of producing them, if the testimony sought and the books, papers, etc., called for relate to the matter under investigation, if such matter is one which the Commission is legally entitled to investigate, and if the witness is not excused by the law on some personal

ground from doing what the Commission requires at his hands. Power given to Congress to regulate interstate commerce does not carry

with it authority to destroy or impair those fundamental guarantees of personal rights that are recognized by the Constitution as inhering in

the freedom of the citizen. It was open to each of the defendants in this proceeding to contend before

the Circuit Court that he was protected by the Constitution from making answer to the questions propounded to him or that he was not bound to produce the books, papers, etc., ordered to be produced, or that neither the questions propounded nor the books, papers, etc., called for related to the particular matter under investigation, nor to any matter which the Commission was entitled under the Constitution or laws to investigate. This issue being determined in their favor by the court below, the petition of the Commission could have been dismissed upon

its merits. Hayburn's Case, 2 Dall. 409; United States v. Ferreira, 13 How. 40; Todd's

Case, 13 How. 52; Gordon v. United States, 117 U. S. 697; In re Sanborn,

148 U. S. 222, examined and distinguished. The inquiry whether a witness before the Commission is bound to answer

a particular question propounded to him, or to produce books, papers, etc., in his possession and called for by that body, is one that cannot be committed to a subordinate administrative or executive tribunal for final determination. Such a body could not, under our system of government, and consistently with due process of law, be invested with authority to compel obedience to its orders by a judgment of fine or

imprisonment. Except in the particular instances enumerated in the Constitution, and con

sidered in Anderson y. Dunn, 6 Wheat. 204, and in Kilbourn v. Thompson, 103 U. S. 168, 190, of the exercise by either house of Congress of its right to punish disorderly behavior upon the part of its members, and to compel the attendance of witnesses, and the production of papers in election and impeachment cases, and in cases that may involve the existence of those bodies, the power to impose fine or imprisonment in order to compel the performance of a legal duty imposed by the United States can only be Argument for Appellees.

exerted, under the law of the land, by a competent judicial tribunal hav.

ing jurisdiction in the premises. A proceeding under the twelfth section of the Interstate Commerce Act is

not merely ancillary and advisory, nor is its object merely to obtain an opinion of the Circuit Court that would be without operation upon the rights of the parties. Any judgment rendered will be a final and indisputable basis of action as between the Commission and the defendant, and furnish a precedent for similar cases. The judgment is none the less one of a judicial tribunal dealing with questions judicial in their nature and presented in the customary forms of judicial proceedings, because its effect may be to aid an administrative or executive body in the performance of duties legally imposed upon it by Congress in execu

tion of a power granted by the Constitution. The issue made in such a case as this is not one for the determination of

a jury, nor can any question of contempt arise until the issue of law in the Circuit Court is determined adversely to the defendants, and they refuse to obey, not the order of the Commission, but the final order of the court. In matters of contempt a jury is not required by due process of law.

The case is stated in the opinion. See post, pages 456 to 468.

Mr. Solicitor General for appellant. Mr. Attorney General and Mr. George F. Edmunds filed a brief for same.

Mr. E. Parmalee Prentice, (with whom were Mr. J. C. Hutchins and Mr. C. S. Holt on the brief,) for appellees.

I. This investigation was in its nature judicial, and authority to make it could not lawfully be conferred by Congress upon the Interstate Commerce Commission, which is in its nature an administrative and not a judicial body.

Whether Congress could create a judicial body charged with any or all of the duties that pertain to the Interstate Commerce Commission need not be considered. Those Commissioners are appointed for a term of years, and not during good behavior, as the Constitution requires for Federal judges. This question received most thorough and careful examination by Mr. Justice Jackson in Kentucky Bridge Co. v. Louisville & Nashville Railroad, 37 Fed. Rep. 567, 612, et seq.

The inquiry which the Commission was pursuing was judicial. We assert with entire confidence, that it is not one

VOL. CLIV-29

Syllabus.

lating to the matter under investigation before that body, makes a case or controversy to which the judicial power of the United States extends. As every citizen is bound to obey the law and to yield obedience to the constituted authorities acting within the law, the power conferred upon the Interstate Commerce Commission to require the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books, papers, and documents relating to a matter under investigation by it, imposes upon any one summoned by that body to appear and testify the duty of appearing and testifying, and upon any one required to produce such books, papers, and documents the duty of producing them, if the testimony sought and the books, papers, etc., called for relate to the matter under investigation, if such matter is one which the Commission is legally entitled to investigate, and if the witness is not excused by the law on some personal ground from doing what the Commission requires at his hands.

Power given to Congress to regulate interstate commerce does not carry with it authority to destroy or impair those fundamental guarantees of personal rights that are recognized by the Constitution as inhering in the freedom of the citizen.

It was open to each of the defendants in this proceeding to contend before the Circuit Court that he was protected by the Constitution from making answer to the questions propounded to him or that he was not bound to produce the books, papers, etc., ordered to be produced, or that neither the questions propounded nor the books, papers, etc., called for related to the particular matter under investigation, nor to any matter which the Commission was entitled under the Constitution or laws to investigate. This issue being determined in their favor by the court below, the petition of the Commission could have been dismissed upon its merits.

Hayburn's Case, 2 Dall. 409; United States v. Ferreira, 13 How. 40; Todd's Case, 13 How. 52; Gordon v. United States, 117 U. S. 697; In re Sanborn, 148 U. S. 222, examined and distinguished.

The inquiry whether a witness before the Commission is bound to answer a particular question propounded to him, or to produce books, papers, etc., in his possession and called for by that body, is one that cannot be committed to a subordinate administrative or executive tribunal for final determination. Such a body could not, under our system of government, and consistently with due process of law, be invested with authority to compel obedience to its orders by a judgment of fine or imprisonment.

Except in the particular instances enumerated in the Constitution, and considered in Anderson v. Dunn, 6 Wheat. 204, and in Kilbourn v. Thompson, 103 U. S. 168, 190, of the exercise by either house of Congress of its right to punish disorderly behavior upon the part of its members, and to compel the attendance of witnesses, and the production of papers in election and impeachment cases, and in cases that may involve the existence of those bodies, the power to impose fine or imprisonment in order to compel the performance of a legal duty imposed by the United States can only be

Argument for Appellees.

exerted, under the law of the land, by a competent judicial tribunal having jurisdiction in the premises.

A proceeding under the twelfth section of the Interstate Commerce Act is not merely ancillary and advisory, nor is its object merely to obtain an opinion of the Circuit Court that would be without operation upon the rights of the parties. Any judgment rendered will be a final and indisputable basis of action as between the Commission and the defendant, and furnish a precedent for similar cases. The judgment is none the less one of a judicial tribunal dealing with questions judicial in their nature and presented in the customary forms of judicial proceedings, because its effect may be to aid an administrative or executive body in the performance of duties legally imposed upon it by Congress in execution of a power granted by the Constitution.

The issue made in such a case as this is not one for the determination of a jury, nor can any question of contempt arise until the issue of law in the Circuit Court is determined adversely to the defendants, and they refuse to obey, not the order of the Commission, but the final order of the court. In matters of contempt a jury is not required by due process of law.

The case is stated in the opinion. See post, pages 456 to 468.

Mr. Solicitor General for appellant. Mr. Attorney General and Mr. George F. Edmunds filed a brief for same.

Mr. E. Parmalee Prentice, (with whom were Mr. J. C. Hutchins and Mr. C. S. Holt on the brief,) for appellees.

I. This investigation was in its nature judicial, and authority to make it could not lawfully be conferred by Congress upon the Interstate Commerce Commission, which is in its nature an administrative and not a judicial body.

Whether Congress could create a judicial body charged with any or all of the duties that pertain to the Interstate Commerce Commission need not be considered. Those Commissioners are appointed for a term of years, and not during good behavior, as the Constitution requires for Federal judges. This question received most thorough and careful examination by Mr. Justice Jackson in Kentucky Bridge Co. v. Louisville & Nashville Railroad, 37 Fed. Rep. 567, 612, et seq.

The inquiry which the Commission was pursuing was judicial. We assert with entire confidence, that it is not one

VOL. CLIV-29

Argument for Appellees.

of the constitutional means included in the power to regulate interstate commerce, to delegate to a non-judicial body the duty of inquiring whether such commerce “is carried on according to the requirements of law.” The proposition thus laid down by counsel is that Congress may authorize compulsory inquiry by a non-judicial body for the purpose of discovering and punishing past violations of law. A more startling proposition has seldom been asserted in this court. These violations are, if anything, crimes, punishable by heavy penalties of fine and imprisonment, and the investigation of the question whether crime has been committed is not an administrative act within any possible construction of the language. Such an inquiry is a function of the courts, with their historic appropriate machinery of the grand jury. Cooley, Const. Lim. (5th ed.) 109, 110. See also Commonwealth v. Jones, 10 Bush, 725, where the Supreme Court of Kentucky held that the legislature even of a State, could not empower election boards to decide whether a citizen by dueling has forfeited his right to vote or hold office, since that determination involves a judicial question. Authorities might be multiplied on this point, but we do not think it necessary.

That the inquiry in this case is judicial and only judicial, it seems impossible to doubt. We are at a loss to know how counsel expects to make it appear otherwise. Tried by any test with which we are familiar, the result is the same. The language of the order entered by the Commission, and of the “ informal complaints” on which that order was based, is susceptible of no other construction. The wrong complained of was that the Illinois Steel Company, by means of the "switching roads” as the device, was violating the provisions of the Interstate Commerce Act by obtaining unjust preferences over other shippers. The law makes one and only one provision in such a case, viz., the punishment of the persons responsible for such violation.

It is obvious that no special sanctity attaches to the name, the number, or the personality of the body in which this power is attempted to be lodged. If Congress may authorize such inquiry by a commission of five distinguished citizens

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