Ashwander v. Tennessee Valley Authority

In Ashwander v. Tennessee Valley Authority, 297 U.S. 288, 325, 56 S.Ct. 466, 473, 80 L.Ed. 688, (1936), power company stockholders sought to set aside as invalid a contract between the company and the Authority, and they also asked a general declaratory decree with respect to the rights of the Authority in various relations. The Supreme Court said: "We agree with the Circuit Court of Appeals that the question to be determined is limited to the validity of the contract of January 4, 1934. The pronouncements, policies and program of the Tennessee Valley Authority and its directors, their motives and desires, did not give rise to a justiciable controversy save as they had fruition in action of a definite and concrete character constituting an actual or threatened interference with the rights of the persons complaining. The judicial power does not extend to the determination of abstract questions. . . ." (297 U.S. at page 324, 56 S.Ct. at page 472.)