The Secretary of Agriculture made an order fixing the rates chargeable by the appellant, the rate base being determined by the cost of reproduction new less depreciation. The district court held that, since by congressional act the findings of fact of the Secretary were made conclusive, the court could not make an independent determination of the value but was bound to take the Secretary's valuation if there was substantial evidence to support it. However, the court then went on to review the evidence before the Secretary and concluded that the appellant had failed to show that the valuation was "clearly and convincingly wrong." Held, that the ruling of the district court was erroneous in so far as it denied the duty to make an independent judicial determination of fact on a constitutional issue of confiscation, but since the district court had actually reviewed the evidence and made an independent decision, it was not reversible error. It was further held that the appellant had failed to show that the rates set would result in confiscation of its property, and consequently that the order should be affirmed. Three judges concurred in the result, but dissented from the ruling as to the conclusiveness of the Secretary's finding of value. St. Joseph Stock Yards Co. v. United States, 298 U. S. 38, 56 S. Ct. 720 (1936).
PUBLIC UTILITIES - JUDICIAL REVIEW OF THE RATE BASE,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol35/iss1/25