Supreme Court Case Studies Case 1: What do you think the Court’s decision in the Atlanta case required the motel to do?
In the Atlanta case, the Courts decided that the motel would be required to allow
African Americans to be able to stay in the motel.
2. Why do you think the Court chose to deal only with the commerce clause rather than the other two questions the motel had raised as well?
The Court only wanted to deal with the commerce clause because the other two questions were about the motel’s rights being violated, which in this case, the congress had the decision. The commerce clause deals with foreign governments and also state trade. The Court denied that the motel had mostly local business because a lot of it included people from other states. The Court concluded that the civil rights act applied to this situation, with the interstate travelers. 3. What did the Court’s decisions in both the Atlanta and Birmingham cases have in common? The Atlanta and Birmington cases both dealt with African Americans, interstate travel, and out of state sales. The courts said that, this should be treated differently because most of the sales, at the restaurant, were out of state and that they traveled to get there. This was dealt with the same issue, in which the civil rights act, was decided by the congress. 4. Justice Clark had a reputation for being a very conservative member of the Supreme
Court. Do you think his rulings in the two cases described supported or detracted from this reputation? These rulings in these cases did not describe his conservative reputation. This is because, back then many people, who were conservative, did not believe in black and white interaction and they wanted them to be separate. I do not think this describes Justice Clark, by what he is known for. 5. Do you think the Court was correct in broadening its interpretation of the commerce clause? Explain.
I think it was correct for the court, to allow African Americans to stay in a motel and also sit in a restaurant. I think by saying that the commerce clause and the civil rights act should be incorporated into these places, it helped for the African
Americans to be able to have the same rights as white people.
1. Why do you think each justice felt compelled to write a separate opinion?
Each justice felt this was an issue that required a more indepth look. After only hearing the case four days earlier, they knew their decision was clear after a short period of time. 2. Why did the case advance so rapidly through the appeals system? T he chief justice said himself that “the court should not even have heard