Heart Of Atlanta V United States

687 words - 3 pages

Heart of Atlanta v. United States

A motel in Atlanta, Georgia was an owner that would only accommodate white guests, Negros were not allowed to rent a room. The court stepped in onto this case when the motel was sued because blacks who were interstate traveling could not stay there. Congress in 1964 pass Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, under the Commerce Clause Congress had the authority to step in and intervene in business when commerce was affected. The Constitutional question was did Congress Constitutionally have the power to deprive motels such as Heart of Atlanta to choose their own customer or did that exceed their powers under the Commerce Clause in Title II of the ...view middle of the document...

” They believed that since they were privately owned businesses that it was not the job of the government to tell them who they can and cannot serve. They believed that it was their right as private owners to decide who they could serve even including not serving Negros. But under the Commerce Act the motel “has no right to select it’s as guests as it sees fit, free from governmental regulation.”
Justice Douglas refers to another case (Bell v. Maryland) and states “makes clear my position that the right to be free of discriminatory treatment (based on race) in places of public accommodation -- whether intrastate or interstate -- is a right guaranteed against state action by the Fourteenth Amendment, and that state enforcement of the kind of trespass laws which Maryland had in that case was state action within the meaning of the Amendment.” Under the 14th amendment, where everyone is born in the U.S in a natural citizen with equal rights, people are equally allowed to be served by the same public...

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