274 U.S. 106 (1927), 91, United States ex Rel. Norwegian Nitrogen Products Co., Inc. v. United States Tariff Commission

Docket Nº:No. 91
Citation:274 U.S. 106, 47 S.Ct. 499, 71 L.Ed. 949
Party Name:United States ex Rel. Norwegian Nitrogen Products Co., Inc. v. United States Tariff Commission
Case Date:April 11, 1927
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 106

274 U.S. 106 (1927)

47 S.Ct. 499, 71 L.Ed. 949

United States ex Rel. Norwegian Nitrogen Products Co., Inc.

v.

United States Tariff Commission

No. 91

United States Supreme Court

April 11, 1927

Argued March 3, 4, 1927

ERROR TO THE COURT OF APPEALS

OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Syllabus

1. Under Jud.Code § 250, before the Act of February 13, 1925, a judgment of the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia, affirming dismissal of a petition for mandamus in which the construction of a federal law was drawn in question, was reviewable here by writ of error. P. 110.

2. No duty of the Tariff Commission to make an investigation of comparative costs of production here and abroad arises under the Revenue Act of September 8, 1916, or the Tariff Act of 1922, except when required by the President under § 315 of the latter. P. 110.

3. An action in mandamus to compel the Commission to reopen an investigation of differences in cost of production, which it conducted under an Executive Order as an aid to the President in adjusting tariff duties under § 315 of the Tariff Act of 1922, and to disclose to the petitioner information obtained at a prior hearing and allow him to cross-examine witnesses and introduce evidence, became moot when the President fixed the duties on the Commission's report. P. 110.

4. In the absence of an injunction or restraining order, an administrative body, after judgment in its favor in an action to control its conduct by mandamus, may proceed to dispose of the matter before it notwithstanding the pendency of a writ of error to the judgment. P. 111.

5. A case becoming moot pending review should be remanded with directions to dismiss. P. 112.

6 F.2d 491 reversed.

Error to a judgment of the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia which affirmed a judgment of the Supreme Court of the District dismissing on demurrer a petition for a mandamus to require the Tariff Commission to disclose information obtained by it in an investigation

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of costs of production of sodium nitrite and to hold a public hearing, with leave to the plaintiff to cross-examine investigators and witnesses and offer opposing evidence.

STONE, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE STONE delivered the opinion of the Court.

The Tariff Act of September 21, 1922, c. 356, § 315, 42 Stat. 858, 941 (Comp. St. §§ 5841c19-5841c24), vested in the President the power to adjust tariff duties, so as to equalize differences in costs of production here and abroad of articles wholly or in part the growth or product of this county, whenever an investigation by the Tariff Commission should reveal disparate costs. Such investigation is made a prerequisite to action by the President in proclaiming changes of rates. By executive order of October 7, 1922, it was provided that all petitions or applications for action or relief under the so-called flexible §§ of the Tariff Act of 1922 should be filed with the Tariff Commission.

In October...

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