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Boyce Motor Lines v. United States

United States Supreme Court
342 U.S. 337 (1952)


The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) promulgated a regulation requiring drivers transporting certain hazardous materials to avoid driving in congested areas. The requirement applied “so far as practicable, and, where feasible, by prearrangement of routes.” The statute directing the ICC to promulgate the regulation provided that any knowing violation of the regulation would subject the violator to criminal penalties. While updated to account for motor vehicles, the regulation dated back in one form or another to 1866. Boyce Motor Lines (Boyce) (defendant) was indicted for violating the regulation. The district court dismissed the charges on the ground that the regulation’s phrase “so far as practicable, and, where feasible” was so vague that it did not give sufficient notice of what would be deemed a crime, as the Constitution requires. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Clark, J.)

Dissent (Jackson, J.)

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