answer the questions, I need five paragraphs, this is for a business law class
Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States
A motel owner, who refused to rent rooms to African Americans despite the Civil Rights Act of 1964, brought an action to have the Civil Rights Act of 1964 declared unconstitutional. The owner alleged that, in passing the act, Congress had exceeded its power to regulate commerce because his motel was not engaged in interstate commerce. The motel was accessible to state and interstate highways. The owner advertised nationally, maintained billboards throughout the state, and accepted convention trade from outside the state (75 percent of the guests were residents of other states). The district court sustained the constitutionality of the act and enjoined the owner from discriminating on the basis of race. The owner appealed. The case went to the United States Supreme Court.
The United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Court noted that it was passed to correct “the deprivation of personal dignity” accompanying the denial of equal access to “public establishments.” Congressional testimony leading to the passage of the act indicated that African Americans in particular experienced substantial discrimination in attempting to secure lodging. This discrimination impeded interstate travel, thus impeding interstate commerce. As for the owner’s argument that his motel was “of a purely local character,” the Court said, “[I]f it is interstate commerce that feels the pinch, it does not matter how local the operation that applies the squeeze.” Therefore, under the commerce clause, Congress has the power to regulate any local activity that has a harmful effect interstate commerce.
Notes and Questions
Does the Civil Rights Act of 1964 actually regulate commerce or was it designed to end the practice of race (and other forms of) discrimination?
Are there any businesses in today’s economy that are “purely local in character”?
Which constitutional clause empowers the federal government to regulate commercial activities among the states?
If this case had involved a small, private retail business that did not advertise nationally, would the result have been the same? Why or why not?
Please answer the questions above and try to find recent cases in the news involving similar issues.
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