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Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States

United States Supreme Court
379 U.S. 241 (1964)



In 1964, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act (CRA). Title II of the CRA forbids racial discrimination by places of public accommodation such as hotels and restaurants. The Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. (plaintiff) in Atlanta, Georgia advertises to and hosts primarily out-of-state guests. The motel practices a policy of refusing to rent rooms to African Americans and brought this suit against the United States government (defendant) in the District Court for the Northern District of Georgia to challenge the CRA as an unconstitutional extension of Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce. The district court upheld the CRA as constitutional. The court of appeals affirmed. Heart of Atlanta appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Clark, J.)

Concurrence (Black, J.)

Concurrence (Douglas, J.)

Concurrence (Goldberg, J.)

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