McGrew v. Missouri Pac. Ry. Co.

Citation230 Mo. 496,132 S.W. 1076
Decision Date28 June 1910
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri

transportation of similar quantities of the same class of property over a greater distance over its road; from charging different rates for receiving, handling, or delivering freight at different points on its road, or any road used by it in connection therewith; and from charging for transportation of property over any portion of its road a greater amount as compensation than is charged by it for transportation of similar quantities of the same class of property over any portion of its road of equal distance. The act was taken substantially from the Illinois law (Laws 1871-72, p. 635). In 1873, the Illinois law was declared unconstitutional on the ground that the Constitution restricted the power of the Legislature to prohibit discriminations to those which were unjust and made the question of the injustice of any alleged discrimination a judicial question for the court, and that the Legislature had no power to declare anything to be an unjust discrimination. The Missouri Constitution of 1865 did not limit the power of the Legislature to prohibit discriminations by railroads, but Const. 1875, art. 12, § 14 (Ann. St. 1906, p. 306), adopted literally from the Illinois Constitution (article 11, § 12), the portion held to have been violated by the Illinois law providing that railroads are public highways, and railroad companies common carriers, and that the General Assembly shall pass laws to correct abuses and prevent unjust discrimination and extortion in the rates of freight and passenger traffic on the different railroads in the state, and shall pass laws establishing maximum rates and charges for transportation of passengers and freight on the railroads, and enforce all such laws by adequate penalty. The Missouri Constitution, also by article 12, § 12 (page 306), providing that it shall not be lawful for any railroad company to charge for transportation of freight or passengers a greater amount for a less distance than the amount charged for a greater distance, and that suitable laws shall be passed to enforce the provision, adopted the very gist of the statute (the so-called "short-haul" rule) extending its provisions to passengers as well as to freight. Held, that the intent in adopting section 12 was to establish the short-haul rule as a part of the fundamental law and to put it in operation, and the provision of section 14, directing the Legislature to pass laws to correct abuses and prevent unjust discrimination and extortion in the rates of freight and passenger traffic, does not operate as an implied limitation on the power of the Legislature to prevent only such discriminations as are unjust, the use of the word "unjust" not being intended to limit the Legislature's power in that regard, but to require the exercise of such power, and to declare what shall be unjust discrimination, and such provision refers to discriminations generally, whereas the short-haul rule, established by section 12, applies to a particular class of discriminations, specifically established in positive and explicit terms, so that the short-haul provision of Act 1872 was not rendered unconstitutional by the adoption of the Constitution of 1875.


Where there is in the same statute a particular enactment and also a general one, which in its most comprehensive sense would include what is embraced in the former, the particular enactment must be operative, and the general enactment taken to affect only such cases within its general language as are not within the provisions of the particular enactment.


While constitutional limitations upon the legislative power may be made expressly or by implication, the implication must at least be clear and strong and convincing, if not absolutely necessary.


A constitutional command to the Legislature to do one thing is not a denial of its power to do other things.


The maxims "expressio unius est exclusio alterius" and "expressum facit cessare...

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