Concept

Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States

Summary
Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States, 379 U.S. 241 (1964), was a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the United States holding that the Commerce Clause gave the U.S. Congress power to force private businesses to abide by Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, or national origin in public accommodations. Background 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. In the 100 years preceding 1964, African Americans in the United States had been subjected to racial segregation, a system of racial separation which, while in name providing for "separate but equal" treatment of both white and African Americans, in fact provided inferior accommodation, services, and treatment for African Ame
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