Interstate Commerce Commission

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Interstate Commerce Commission

(ICC), former independent agency of the U.S. government, established in 1887; it was charged with regulating the economics and services of specified carriers engaged in transportation between states. Surface transportation under the ICC's jurisdiction included railroads, trucking companies, bus lines, freight forwarders, water carriers, oil pipelines, transportation brokers, and express agencies.

The ICC, the first regulatory commission in U.S. history, was established as a result of mounting public indignation in the 1880s against railroad malpractices and abuses (see Granger movementGranger movement,
American agrarian movement taking its name from the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry, an organization founded in 1867 by Oliver H. Kelley and six associates. Its local units were called granges and its members grangers.
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), but until President Theodore RooseveltRoosevelt, Theodore,
1858–1919, 26th President of the United States (1901–9), b. New York City. Early Life and Political Posts

Of a prosperous and distinguished family, Theodore Roosevelt was educated by private tutors and traveled widely.
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, the ICC's effectiveness was limited by the failure of Congress to give it enforcement power, by the Supreme Court's interpretation of its powers, and by the vague language of its enabling act. Beginning with the Hepburn Act (1906), the ICC's jurisdiction was gradually extended beyond railroads to all common carriers except airplanes by 1940. Its enforcement powers to set rates were also progressively extended, through statute and broadened Supreme Court interpretations of the commerce clause of the Constitution, as were its investigative powers for determining fair rates of return on which to base rates. In addition, the ICC was given the task of consolidating railroad systems and managing labor disputes in interstate transport. In the 1950s and 60s the ICC enforced U.S. Supreme Court rulings that required the desegregation of passenger terminal facilities.

The ICC's safety functions were transferred to the Dept. of Transportation when that department was created in 1966; the ICC retained its rate-making and regulatory functions. However, in consonance with the deregulatory movement, the ICC's powers over rates and routes in rails and trucking were curtailed in 1980 by the Staggers Rail Act and Motor Carriers Act. Most ICC control over interstate trucking was abandoned in 1994, and the agency was terminated at the end of 1995. Many of its remaining functions were transferred to the new National Surface Transportation Board.

References in periodicals archive ?
Although the creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1887 provided a potential administrative regulatory model for antitrust legislation, very little consideration was given in 1890 to an administrative model that might preempt state law.
Nearly half a century before the current international accounting standards debate, some in the accounting profession, led by Arthur Andersen (AA), felt that railroad accounting practices required by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) were rapidly diverging from GAAP and, in 1955, asked for a change.
On the Interstate Commerce Commission, see McCraw, Prophets of Regulation, 61--63.
Belzer uses a combination of Interstate Commerce Commission and survey data to calculate that in 1993, the average truckload driver (who is typically non-union) earned an equivalent straight-time wage of just $6.
The 1980 Motor Carrier Act dramatically cut back the Interstate Commerce Commission and its role in controlling interstate trucking.
Royal has both common and contract carrier authority from the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC).
Introduction of the country's first federal regulatory agency, the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), in 1887 kept somewhat of a balance of power among the railroads.
But in 1948, Jim Clark and Louis "Whitey" Molitch persuaded the Interstate Commerce Commission to license their Highland Express Lines as the sole company permitted to carry "theatrical goods" throughout North America.
Warden goaded Harris by asking him if he was proposing a National Operating System Commission to oversee Win dows, akin to the now- defunct Interstate Commerce Commission.
Such relief, said the Supreme Court, would have the effect of reducing the shipper's transportation costs, and, under the comprehensive regulatory regime of the Interstate Commerce Act,(4) only the Interstate Commerce Commission, and not the courts, was authorized to approve changes in the railroads' rates.
The departments on Monday filed their final recommendations with the Surface Transportation Board, a Transportation Department division that succeeded the Interstate Commerce Commission and has authority to approve or reject the merger.
As the story unfolds, leading states initiate economic and safety regulations that later are applied nationwide by the Interstate Commerce Commission.

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