Heart of Atlanta V. United States

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Heart of Atlanta v. United States
Heart of Atlanta v. United States (1964) - Any business that was participating in interstate commerce would be required to follow all rules of the federal civil rights legislation. In this case, a motel that wanted to continue segregation was denied because they did business with people from other states. This important case represented an immediate challenge to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the landmark piece of civil rights legislation which represented the first comprehensive act by Congress on civil rights and race relations since the Civil Rights Act of 1875. For much of the 100 years preceding 1964, race relations in the United States had been dominated by segregation, a system of racial separation
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In addition, the owner argued that the act violated his Fifth Amendment rights to choose customers and operate his business as he wished and resulted in unjust deprivation of his property without due process of law and just compensation. Finally, the owner argued that Congress had placed him in a position of involuntary servitude by forcing him to rent available rooms to blacks, thereby violating his Thirteenth Amendment rights.
In response, the United States countered that the restrictions in adequate accommodation for black Americans severely interfered with interstate travel, and that Congress, under the United States Constitution 's Commerce clause, was certainly within its power to address such matters. Moreover, they argued, the Fifth Amendment does not forbid reasonable regulation of interstate commerce and such incidental damage did not constitute the "taking" of property without just compensation or due process of law. Third, they argued that the Thirteenth Amendment applied primarily to slavery and the removal of widespread disabilities associated with it; in such kind, the Amendment certainly would not place issues of racial discrimination in public accommodations beyond the reach of Federal and state law. The District court ruled in favor of the United States and issued a permanent injunction requiring the Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. to refrain from using racial

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