The opinion of the court was delivered by: MILLER
Several years ago Eastman Kodak Company decided to move its midwestern sales and distribution facilities from Chicago to a new plant it planned to erect at Oakbrook, Illinois, about two and one-half miles west of the Chicago commercial zone. Desiring to retain the services of the trucking companies which had served its Chicago facilities, Eastman requested the 30 companies involved to apply to the Interstate Commerce Commission for authority to serve the Oakbrook installation. All did so - 28 independent trucking companies and two companies wholly owned by railroads.
No applicant opposed the application of any other, but the plaintiff, American Trucking Association, Inc., opposed the applications of the railroad affiliates, and was the only real protestant. At a consolidated hearing before a trial examiner in 1961, Eastman produced witnesses who testified in support of all 30 applicants. The plaintiff presented no evidence.
Twenty-seven of the 28 independent applicants were certificated by the Commission. On June 25, 1965, after prolonged proceedings upon which we think it unnecessary to elaborate, a division of the Interstate Commerce Commission issued a certificate of convenience and necessity authorizing Motor Transit to serve the Oakbrook installation, and held that Transport already had the authority it sought, by virtue of the fact that Oakbrook, though not a rail point, is described in a New York Central tariff as being within the Chicago terminal area of that railroad.
Thereupon the American Trucking Associations, Inc., by amending its complaint theretofore filed, asked the Court to annul, set aside and permanently suspend and enjoin the reports and orders of the Interstate Commerce Commission which certificated Motor Transit and held Transport already had the authority it sought.
The two railroad-owned motor carriers were permitted to intervene.
At the outset it should be noted that judicial review of these orders is extremely limited. The Supreme Court has said that
This excerpt from the Hope opinion was repeated in Interstate Commerce Comm'n v. City of Jersey City, 322 U.S. 503, 512-13, 88 L. Ed. 1420, 64 S. Ct. 1129 (1944). The Jersey City opinion also quoted the following from the Rochester Telephone case:
" . . . So long as there is warrant in the record for the judgment of the expert body it must stand. . . 'The judicial function is exhausted when there is found to be a rational basis for the conclusions approved by the administrative body.' . . ."
Accordingly, our function is to ascertain whether the Commission has correctly applied the law and, if so, whether its findings sufficiently indicate the bases for the conclusions reached, and whether the evidence contains substantial support for the findings. Those are the limits of our power of review.
Rock Island Motor Transit Company. Prior to this proceeding, Motor Transit was operating an unrestricted service authorized by the Commission from Chicago to many points in the Midwest and was moving Eastman's shipments from the latter's Chicago facility to the numerous places to which it made deliveries. It sought authority to serve the new Oakbrook plant as an off-route point in connection with its regular-route operations to and from Chicago, already authorized.
The basic statutory authority of the Interstate Commerce Commission to grant certificates of public convenience and necessity to motor carriers is found in § 207(a)
of the Interstate Commerce Act, 49 U.S.C. § 307(a), 49 Stat. 551. Section 5(2)(b)
of the Act, 49 U.S.C. § 5(2)(b), 54 Stat. 906, having to do with acquisitions and mergers, imposes restrictions on the grant of authority to a motor carrier which is controlled by or affiliated with a railroad. The Commission has interpreted this statute as confining acquisition of a motor carrier by a railroad or its affiliate to "operations . . . which are auxiliary or supplementary to train service."
In American Trucking Assns. v. United States, 355 U.S. 141, 2 L. Ed. 2d 158, 78 S. Ct. 165 (1957), the Supreme Court pointed out that § 207(a) does not contain the restrictive language of § 5(2)(b) and that there is no language in § 207(a) "even suggesting a mandatory limitation to service which is auxiliary or supplementary." Later in the opinion the Court said, at pages 149-50:
"In interpreting § 207, the Commission has accepted the policy of § 5(2)(b) as a guiding light, not as a rigid limitation. While it has applied auxiliary and supplementary restrictions in many § 207 proceedings, the Commission has occasionally issued certificates to railroad subsidiaries without the restrictions where 'special circumstances' prevail, namely, where unrestricted operations by the rail-owned carrier are found on specific facts and circumstances to be in the public interest. . . .
"We conclude, therefore, that the Congress did not intend the rigid requirement of § 5(2)(b) to be considered as a limitation on ...