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Constitutional Law Keyed to Barnett
Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States
Citation:379 U.S. 241 (1964)
A hotel in Atlanta, Georgia refused to allow Black visitors to rent rooms, in violation of the Civil Rights Act. The United States government sued the owner of the motel for refusing to open his business to Black patrons. The Appellant (the owner of the motel) argued that Congress had exceeded the authority granted to it in the Commerce Clause when it passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (The Appellant also argued that the Civil Rights Act amounted to a taking by the government in violation of the Fifth Amendment). The U.S. government (appellee) countered by arguing that Congress had power under the Commerce Clause to remove obstructions to interstate commerce, and the Fifth Amendment Takings Clause did not prohibit the government from imposing reasonable regulations.
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