Discrimination Case: Heart of Atlanta Motel Versus the United States

1099 Words 5 Pages
Critical Legal Thinking: Introduction
The US Constitution (Article I Section 8 Clause 3) gives Congress the power to regulate both interstate and intrastate commerce. Normally, only the Federal government interferes with business activity within a state while one would expect Congress to deal with the larger interstate matters. As in the article, Congress’ powers extend to any matters of commerce within the state that collide with regulations of interstate trade. Otherwise, the clause would contradict itself in allowing commerce within the state to somewhat go against rules and regulations governing commerce among the states.
Case in point: Heart of Atlanta Motel vs. United States
The motel owner challenged this power as unconstitutional.
…show more content…
Normally, only the Federal government interferes with business activity within a state while one would expect Congress to deal with the larger interstate matters. As in the article, Congress’ powers extend to any matters of commerce within the state that collide with regulations of interstate trade. Otherwise, the clause would contradict itself in allowing commerce within the state to somewhat go against rules and regulations governing commerce among the states.
Case in point: Heart of Atlanta Motel vs. United States
The motel owner challenged this power as unconstitutional. The reason behind this claim is both business oriented and ethical. The motel failed to provide accommodation to blacks, which is outright discrimination based on race. Perhaps most customers were white travelers who provided enough investment returns excluding returns from black customers. For this racist decision to stand, it provided better business environment to the owner. In 1964, such discrimination was common. This decision pleased white customers, who were the majority, hence more income for the owner. This constituted the motive behind filing a case and even appealing to The Supreme Court after The District Court’s ruling failed to satisfy.
Such discrimination, however, failed to consider benefits of doing business with the…