Brief Fact Summary. The owners of a motel refused to rent rooms to Negroes and wanted to continue to do so. The motel was situated between many interstates in Atlanta and 75% of its patronage was from out-of-town.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. If a business activity deals with or affects interstate commerce, it is subject to the reach of the Commerce Clause.
It extends to those activities intrastate which so affect interstate commerce or the exercise of the power of Congress over it as to make regulation of them appropriate means to the attainment of a legitimate end, the exercise of the granted power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 constitutional?
Held. The motel could not refuse service to Negroes because Title II was not unconstitutional. Discrimination against Negroes keeps them from traveling in the country. Such discrimination may adversely affect commerce, thereby invoking the Commerce Clause. The motel was therefore subject to Congress’ power to regulate its actions by passing laws such as the Civil Rights Act.
Discussion. The test of Congress’ power to regulate commerce is whether the activity at issue concerns more than one state and substantially affects national commerce.