Collins v. Porter

Collins v. Porter by Felix Frankfurter
Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

328 U.S. 46

Collins  v.  Porter

 Argued: Feb. 26, 1946. --- Decided: April 22, 1946

The Supreme Court is powerless to decide a case if its decision cannot affect the rights of the litigants.

A decision of Emergency Court of Appeals sustaining validity of bulk whisky price regulations in a proceeding under section 204(e), on a complaint filed by stockholders of dissolved distillery corporation against Price Administrator by leave of district court in which enforcement proceeding was pending, did not render moot a judgment of Emergency Court dismissing complaint in proceeding under section 203(a) protesting validity of regulation, where decision in section 204(e) proceeding left the question of applicability of regulation to stockholders to district court in enforcement proceeding, and Emergency Court in the section 203(a) proceeding could rule on such question and its ruling, if made before district court rendered judgment, would be binding on district court. Emergency Price Control Act of 1942, §§ 203(a), 204(e), 205(e), as amended, 50 U.S.C.A.Appendix, §§ 923(a), 924(e), 925(e).

The 1944 amendment to Emergency Price Control Act authorizing a proceeding under section 204(e) questioning validity of price regulation by leave of district court in which enforcement proceeding is pending does not repeal or qualify protest proceeding under section 203(a), and the two modes of securing a hearing on validity and applicability of price regulation are cumulative and not alternative. Emergency Price Control Act of 1942, §§ 203(a), 204(e), as amended, 50 U.S.C.A.Appendix, §§ 923(a), 924(e).

Stockholders, in dissolved distilling corporation selling bulk whisky warehouse receipts received as their share of assets at a price in excess of maximum price regulation for bulk whisky, were 'persons subject to the regulation' within provision in Emergency Price Control Act permitting such persons to file a proceeding protesting validity of regulations, where stockholders would be liable for some $6,800,000 should their arguments as to invalidity of regulation be rejected when case is considered on the merits. Emergency Price Control Act of 1942, § 203(a), as amended, 50 U.S.C.A.Appendix, § 923(a).

Mr. Mac Asbill, of Washington, D.C., for etitioner.

Mr. Richard H. Field, of Washington, D.C., for respondent.

Mr. Justice FRANKFURTER delivered the opinion of the Court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).