Heart of Atlanta V. United States

Topics: United States Constitution, United States, U.S. state Pages: 2 (834 words) Published: May 22, 2008
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 which, while in name providing for "separate but equal" treatment of both white and black Americans, in truth perpetuated inferior accommodation, services, and treatment for black Americans. During the mid-twentieth century, partly as a result of cases such as Powell v. Alabama, 287 U.S. 45 (1932); Smith v. Allwright, 321 U.S. 649 (1944); Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1 (1948); Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 629 (1950); McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, 339 U.S. 637 (1950); NAACP v. Alabama, 357 U.S. 449 (1958); Boynton v. Virginia, 364 U.S. 454 (1960) and probably the most famous, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), the tide against segregation and white supremacy began to turn. However, black Americans' fight for equal civil rights was far from over. In particular, the southern United States, where the Heart of Atlanta Motel was located, remained segregated even into the late 1960s.Passed on July 2, 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned racial discrimination in public places, particularly in public accommodations, largely based on Congress' control of interstate commerce.The Heart of Atlanta motel was a large, 216-room motel in Atlanta, Georgia, which refused to rent rooms to black patrons, in direct...
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