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Statutes Effecting Carriers

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STATUTES EFFECTING CARRIERS. Carriers engaged in interstate cotnmerce are subject to two jurisdictions, or correlated sovereignties,—the State and the United States. Congress, under its powers to regulate commerce, bas passed various statutes in re gard to interstate carriers, prescribing their duties in certain cases, and protecting the shipper from any un just discriminations that the carrier might make with special shippers. These laws come under the head of interstate commerce regulations, and their enforcement is supposed to be secured by the Interstate Commerce Commission, established in 1887, and given power to punish infringements and evasions of the law.

State statutes or laws also consider railroads as public highways and subject to legislative control. It is held that State Legislatures have power to prescribe rates of freight within reasonable limits as a proper exercise of their police power, and they may determine what is a reasonable rate for the transportation of both freight and passengers, and if the limit it properly fixed, and does not require the carrier to transport at a loss or without reasonable profit, it is for the Legislature and not for the courts to alter such limit. (Munn v. Illinois, 94 U. S. 113.) In some States the carrier is forbidden to contract for exemption from liability in certain cases. But such laws are construed to allow the carrier the benefit of any insurance on the goods by the shipper.

carrier and interstate