Smyth v. Ames

169 U.S. 466 (1898)


In 1892, Nebraska passed a statute that limited the maximum rates for intrastate shipments on railroads operating in the state. The railroads opposed this act. Evidence accepted by the lower court indicated that if the same rates had been charged in the preceding years, the railroads would not have recovered their operating expenses on intrastate shipments except in four instances, nor would they contributed to interest on bonded debt or return to stockholders. The lower court declared that the statute at those rates was an unconstitutional deprivation of property without due process of law.