Congress granted a franchise to the Capital Transit Company to operate a bus and streetcar service in the District of Columbia. The Capital Transit Company began a program that broadcast radio programs to its passengers. The Public Utilities Commission (defendant) was the regulatory agency that provided oversight of the Capital Transit Company. The Public Utilities Commission investigated whether the broadcast program was consistent with public convenience, comfort, and safety. After investigation, the Public Utilities Commission did not find an issue with the program and dismissed the inquiry. A group of passengers (plaintiffs) appealed this decision. The plaintiffs alleged that the program deprived passengers of liberty without due process of law. The court of appeals reversed, and the Public Utilities Commission petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review.