In the case of Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (379 U.S. 241 (1964)), a motel in Georgia was accused of racial discrimination, (a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act). The motel argued that the law shouldn’t apply to them because they weren’t engaged in interstate commerce and were therefore beyond the reach of the Interstate Commerce Clause. However, the US Supreme Court found that the Act was constitutional.
- The Court reasoned that the motel serviced a large number of interstate clients, and therefore it was engaged in interstate commerce.
- In addition, discrimination in the hotel industry affected the interstate commerce involved with the vacations and business trips of black travelers nationwide.
- The Court found that, “the power of Congress to promote interstate commerce also includes the power to regulate the local incidents thereof including local activities in both the State of origin as well as the destination, which might have a substantial and harmful effect upon that commerce.”