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Smyth v. Ames

169 U.S. 466 (1898)

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Smyth v. Ames

United States Supreme Court

169 U.S. 466 (1898)

Facts

In 1983, Nebraska enacted a statute that established maximum rates for rail service within the state. The finances of the railroad companies indicated that for the three fiscal years ending between 1891 and 1893, the maximum rates set by statute would have resulted in actual losses to all but two of the railroad companies that operated within the state. Even so, the two companies that would not have incurred losses would have earned too little above operating expenses to be considered just compensation. A group of railroad companies (plaintiffs) that operated within the state filed suit. They claimed that the establishment of maximum rates was effectively a taking of private property without just compensation. The circuit court found in favor of the railroad companies. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Harlan, J.)

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