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United States Commerce Court

act, judges and jurisdiction

UNITED STATES COMMERCE COURT, a judicial body created by an act of Congress, passed 18 June 1910. The court had jurisdiction, formerly possessed by the United States Circuit Courts, over (1) all cases for the enforcement and collection of forfeitures or penalties and for the infliction of any criminal punishment, other than the payment of money, ordered by the Interstate Commerce Commis sion; (2) cases brought to annul, suspend or set aside, in whole or in part, any order issued by the Interstate Commerce Commission; (3) any case that was authorized to be maintained in United States Circuit Courts under section 3 of the act entitled, °An Act to further regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the States," approved 19 Rib. 1903; (4) all man damus proceedings brought under the provi sions of section 20 or 23 of the act entitled An Act to regulate commerce," passed 4 Feb. 1:.:7, such proceedings previously having been maintained in the United States Circuit Court. In all such cases the jurisdiction of the United States Commerce Court was exclusive. It was a court of record composed of a presiding judge and five associate judges, all of whom are appointed by the President of the United States for terms that extend from one to five years. The United States Commerce Court sat

permanently in Washington, D. C., although the law permitted it to hold its sessions in any part of the United States that circumstances might make necessary. To invoke its jurisdiction a written petition had to be filed, in which the petitioner's cause of action or ground for re lease was set forth. The only appeals from its decisions were to the Supreme Court of the United States The judges of this court were appointed by President Taft in December 1910. It organized 8 Feb. 1911 and was opened for business on the 15th. The court developed a reactionary policy. One of its judges was im peached and removed in 1913 and the abolition of the court was demanded by Democrats and Progressives. Taft was responsible for keep ing the court in being in 1913, but it was finally abolished on 31 Dec. 1913.