Heart of Atlanta Motel v. U.S.
Facts of the Case
Whats is the Constitutional Question?
Did Congress in passing Title ll of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, exceed its Commerce Clause powers by depriving motels, such as the Heart of Atlanta, of the right to chose their own customers?
Under the constitution can congress pass a law preventing private businesses from discriminating against people?
The owner of the Heart of Atlanta Motel,Inc
The court held that the Commerce Clause allowed Congress to regulate local incidents of commerce, and that the Civil Right Act of 1964 passed constitutional muster. The Court noted that the applicability of Title ll was "carefully limited to enterprises having a direct and substantial relation to the interstate flow of goods and people. . ."The court therefore concluded that places of public accommodation had no "right" to select guests as they saw fit, free from government regulation. The Court upheld the law.
The Impact of the Decision
- The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation in the United States that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
- Title ll of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion or national origin in certain places of public accommodation, such as hotels, restaurants, and places of entertainment.
- The Commerce Clause refers to Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the U.S Constitution, which gives Congress the power"to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states,and with the Indian tribes."