Pursuant to § 207 (a) of the Interstate Commerce Act, 49 Stat. 551, 49 U. S. C. § 307 (a), the Interstate Commerce Commission concluded that a certificate of public convenience and necessity should issue to Braswell Motor Freight Lines, Inc., authorizing Braswell to extend its motor carrier services to stated points. This conclusion was based upon the Commission's finding that existing service to those points was inadequate to serve public needs. Upon suit by several competing motor carriers serving the area, the District Court enjoined the Commission from proceeding with the grant to Braswell on the ground that the Commission had failed to make adequate findings and that it had failed to afford existing carriers an opportunity to rectify deficiencies in their service. Upon remand, the Commission did not take further evidence, but it made additional findings in considerable detail. It again concluded that shippers and receivers were hampered by the inadequacy of existing service, and it held that, despite numerous complaints, existing carriers had not demonstrated that they could be depended upon to furnish adequate service.
The competing carriers then filed in the District Court a motion under the All-Writs Act, 28 U. S. C. § 1651, contending that the Commission had disregarded the prior opinion and order of the court and asking that the court enforce its prior judgment. The District Court agreed. It stated that it was the Commission's "invariable rule" that no certificate would issue to add a
The United States and the Commission, and Braswell, appealed the judgment to this Court under the provisions of 28 U. S. C. §§ 1253 and 2101 (b).
The District Court erred in holding that it is the "invariable rule" of the Commission to grant existing carriers an opportunity to remedy deficiencies in service, and in holding that carriers have a property right to such opportunity before a new certificate may be issued upon a lawful finding of public convenience and necessity pursuant to the statute. The Commission's power is not so circumscribed. No such limitation has been established by the Commission's own decisions or by judicial determinations. It is, of course, true that the Commission should consider the public interest in maintaining the health and stability of existing carriers, see United States v. Drum, 368 U.S. 370, 374 (1962); but it is also true that, upon the basis of appropriate findings, "the Commission may authorize the certificate even though the existing carriers might arrange to furnish successfully the projected service." ICC v. Parker, 326 U.S. 60,
MR. JUSTICE MARSHALL took no part in the consideration or decision of these cases.