Federal Trade Commission v. Standard Oil Co. of California
United States Supreme Court
449 U.S. 232 (1980)
In 1973, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (defendant) filed an administrative complaint against Standard Oil Company of California (Socal) (plaintiff), alleging statutory violations. Socal said the complaint was baseless and politically motivated. Socal exhausted its administrative remedies for persuading the FTC to withdraw the complaint, but the FTC would not withdraw it. While the administrative proceedings were still pending, Socal sought a court order forcing withdrawal of the FTC complaint. Socal contended that the mere filing and pursuit of the allegedly frivolous FTC complaint imposed a legal burden on Socal to respond to the allegedly baseless charges. The United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed Socal's suit, finding that the filing of the FTC's complaint was not a judicially reviewable final agency action. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit disagreed and reversed in part. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari because of the importance of the judicial-review issue.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Powell, J.)
Concurrence (Stevens, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 174,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.