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United States v. Students Challenging Regulatory Agency Procedures

United States v. Students Challenging Regulatory Agency Procedures, 412 U. S. 669, was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court in which the Court held that the members of SCRAP, five law students from the George Washington University Law School, had standing to sue under Article III of the Constitution to challenge a nationwide railroad freight rate increase approved by the Interstate Commerce Commission. SCRAP was the first full-court consideration of the American National Environmental Policy Act; the Court reversed the lower court decision that an injunction should be issued at the suspension stage of the ICC rate proceeding. The standing decision has retained its place as the high mark in the Court's standing jurisprudence. In the late 1960s, Ralph Nader, with the help of law and graduate students, sought to expose disquieting and sometimes corrupting relationships between industry and government regulatory agencies, whose duty it was to act in the public interest. Notorious among those relationships were the Interstate Commerce Commission and United States railroads.

Members of Congress, such as Senators Lee Metcalf and Warren Magnuson had exposed the relationship and its harmful effects on American farmers and shippers. This public and congressional scrutiny occurred during the tumult of the Vietnam War in Washington, D. C. and the fledgling environmental movement led, in Congress, by Senators Edmund Muskie and Henry Jackson. Among the laws enacted was the National Environmental Policy Act, effective January 1, 1970. Within The George Washington Law School, Professor John F. Banzhaf, to the consternation of traditionalists in legal education, encouraged students to identify problematic corporate/regulatory agency relationships and to engage and challenge them in practical, real terms on their own turf; the five law students who formed Students Challenging Regulatory Agency Procedures began their journey in December 1971 with the filing of a petition in the ICC that sought a one billion dollar refund for the failure of the Commission to comply with NEPA in approving a 20 percent rate increase that SCRAP claimed discriminated against the movement of recyclable materials by favoring the movement of raw materials.

In April and May 1972, SCRAP sued the United States and the ICC in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for violating NEPA in approving the 20% increase and a new 2.5% rate increase on all freight transported by all of the nation's railroads. SCRAP sought a preliminary injunction and a temporary injunction prior to the effective date of the 2.5% rate increase. Under Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution, the federal courts' jurisdiction is limited to "cases...or controversies." The court has determined that various requirements must be met to comply with the Article III jurisdictional threshold, without which federal courts cannot consider the case and the wrongdoing alleged by the plaintiff goes forward. Those requirements include, among others, "standing to sue"; the Constitution does not identify. Just prior to SCRAP's decision to sue the United States and the ICC, the Supreme Court had, in Sierra Club v. Morton, denied standing to the Sierra Club in its environmental challenge to Disney’s effort to build a hotel and ski resort in California.

SCRAP’s claims of wrongdoing and harm to its members were not directed against a single project but against concrete but less discernible harm throughout the nation, including in the Washington, D. C. area where they attended law school. Under a special statute governing the ICC, a single District Court judge had to decide whether the complaint prepared and filed by the students should be transferred to a three-judge panel appointed by the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. A hearing was held before Judge Charles Richey on a temporary restraining order; the Environmental Defense Fund, acting with other environmental groups, sought to intervene by filing its own complaint. SCRAP objected to the new complaint. Judge Richey rejected its separate complaint; the nation's railroads intervened as a matter of right. The ICC and the U. S. moved to dismiss SCRAP’s complaint for a lack of standing to sue. The ICC claimed the court had no authority to interfere in this early stage of the rate proceeding in part because the ICC retained jurisdiction although the increased rates could be collected by the railroads.

Judge Richey denied the TRO, rejected the motion on standing and referred the case to a three-judge panel. His decision is unreported but is described in To A High Court, The Tumult and Choices that Led to United States v. SCRAP; the three-judge panel consisted of Judges J. Skelly Wright, who presided, Thomas Flannery and Charles Robert Richey; the United States, the ICC and the Railroads continued to challenge SCRAP's standing and contended that at this stage of the rate process, a preliminary injunction could not be issued by the court. Following a hearing, the court, in an opinion by Judge Wright, concluded, he concluded that although Congress had vested exclusive jurisdiction in the ICC at the suspension stage of rate-making, Congress had granted the court jurisdict

King Wen sequence

The King Wen sequence is an arrangement of the sixty-four divination figures in 易經 Yì Jīng, the I Ching or Book of Changes. They are called hexagrams in English because each figure is composed of six 爻 yáo—broken or unbroken lines, that represent 陰 yin or 陽 yang respectively; the King Wen sequence is known as the received or classical sequence because it is the oldest surviving arrangement of the hexagrams. Its true age and authorship are unknown. Traditionally, it is said that 周文王 Zhōu Wén Wáng arranged the hexagrams in this sequence while imprisoned by 商紂王 Shāng Zhòu Wáng in the 12th century BC. A different arrangement, the binary sequence named in honor of the mythic culture hero 伏羲 Fú Xī, originated in the Song Dynasty, it is believed to be the work of scholar 邵雍 Shào Yōng. As mirrored by the 先天 Earlier Heaven and 後天 Later Heaven arrangements of the eight trigrams, or 八卦 bā guà, it was customary to attribute authorship to these legendary figures. Of the two hexagram arrangements, the King Wen sequence is, however, of much greater antiquity than the Fu Xi sequence.

The 64 hexagrams are grouped into 32 pairs. For 28 of the pairs, the second hexagram is created by turning the first upside down; the exception to this rule is for the 8 symmetrical hexagrams. Partners for these are given by inverting each line: solid becomes broken and broken becomes solid; these are indicated with icons in the table below. Given the mathematical constraints of these simple rules, the number of lines that change within pair partners will always be even. Whereas the number of lines that change between pairs depends on how the pairs are arranged, the King Wen Sequence has notable characteristics in this regard. Of the 64 transitions 48 of them are changes and 16 are odd changes; this is a precise 3 to 1 ratio of to odd transitions. Of the odd transitions, 14 are changes of three lines and 2 are changes of one line. Changes of five are absent; each transition within a pair appears to be the correlating opposite of the other transition within the pair. The I Ching book was traditionally split up in two parts with the first part covering the first 30 hexagrams of the King Wen sequence and the second part with the remaining 34.

The reason for this was not mentioned in the classic commentaries but was explained in Yuan dynasty commentaries: 8 hexagrams are the same when turned upside down and the other 56 present a different hexagram if inverted. This allows the hexagrams to be displayed succinctly in two equal columns or rows of 18 unique hexagrams each. Over the centuries there were many attempts to explain this sequence; some basic elements are obvious: each symbol is paired with an "upside-down" neighbor, except for 1, 27, 29, 61 which are "vertically" symmetrical and paired with "inversed" neighbors. A combinatorial mathematical basis was explained for the first time in 2006. Binary sequence known as Fu Xi sequence or Shao Yong sequence Mawangdui sequence Eight Palaces sequence. Timewave zero Wen Wang Gua OEIS sequence A102241'Derivation of the Timewave from the King Wen Sequence of Hexagrams' -'King Wen sequence interpreted as a Daoist body map'