Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States (379 U.S. 241)
Appellant, the owner of a large motel in Atlanta, Georgia, which restricts its clientele to white persons, three-fourths of whom are transient interstate travelers, sued for declaratory relief and to enjoin enforcement of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, contending that the prohibition of racial discrimination in places of public accommodation affecting commerce exceeded Congress' powers under the Commerce Clause and violated other parts of the Constitution. A three-judge District Court upheld the constitutionality of Title II, §§ 201(a), (b)(1) and (c)(1), the provisions attacked, and on appellees' counterclaim permanently enjoined appellant from refusing to accommodate Negro guests for racial reasons. Held:
231 F. Supp. 393, affirmed.
Moreton Rolleston, Jr., Atlanta, Ga., for appellant.
Archibald Cox, Sol. Gen., for appellees. Moreton Rolleston, Jr., argued the cause and filed a brief for appellant.
Solicitor General Cox argued the cause for the United States et al. With him on the brief were Assistant Attorney General Marshall, Philip B. Heymann and Harold H. Greene.
Briefs of amici curiae, urging reversal, were filed by James W. Kynes, Attorney General of Florida, and Fred M. Burns and Joseph C. Jacobs, Assistant Attorneys General, for the State of Florida; and Robert Y. Button, Attorney General of Virginia, and Frederick T. Gray, Special Assistant Attorney General, for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Briefs of amici curiae, urging affirmance, were filed by Thomas C. Lynch, Attorney General of California, Charles E. Corker and Dan Kaufmann, Assistant Attorneys General, and Charles B. McKesson and Jerold L. Perry, Deputy Attorneys General, for the State of California; Edward W. Brooke, Attorney General of Massachusetts, for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and Louis J. Lefkowitz, Attorney General of New York, Samuel A. Hirshowitz, First Assistant Attorney General, and Shirley Adelson Siegel, Assistant Attorney General, for the State of New York.
Mr. Justice Clark delivered the opinion of the Court