Moreton Rolleston Case: The Heart Of Atlanta Motel

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The Heart of Atlanta Motel in Atlanta, Georgia, refused to accept Black Americans in their public motel. Title II of the Civil Rights Act (1964) outlawed segregation and discrimination in public places involving interstate commerce. The owner sued, claiming that the act overreached Congress’s power to contain interstate commerce. The Heart of Atlanta Motel was charged with violation of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The owner of the Heart of Atlanta Motel, Moreton Rolleston, filed the suit in federal court, initially arguing whether the Civil Rights Act was constitutional. As the location of this motel was right off the interstate in the heart of Atlanta, he had a wide variety of customers. However, he was unwilling to allow African Americans to stay at his …show more content…
Rolleston, claiming his discrimination based on race violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Unsatisfied Mr. Rolleston took this case to the Supreme Court which was argued on October 5 in 1964. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the government stating that Rolleston’s motel was apart of interstate commerce. The regulation of interstate commerce is a power distributed to Congress in the Constitution. The SCOTUS also ruled that Title Ⅱ of the Civil Rights Act 1964 was constitutional. May Congress prohibit lodging industries’ right to choose their customers based on their race or color through constitutional power regulating interstate commerce?No, it is within violation of their constitutional rights. The Supreme Court deemed the act of denying African Americans services that were available to any U.S. Citizen unconstitutional. In violation of the Civil Rights Act, Rolleston refused Black citizens hospitality in the Heart of Atlanta Motel. The Appellant challenged Congress’ authority to pass the Civil Rights Act. Under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, Congress appropriately addressed the issue of denying Blacks the right to hospitality through interstate