KATZENBACH v. MCCLUNG
The owner of Ollie's Barbecue, in Birmingham Alabama, refused to serve blacks in apparent violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Part of the Act prevented restaurants serving interstate travelers, or receiving a substantial amount of their food from interstate commerce, from discriminating on the basis of race.
Does a restaurant's refusal to serve blacks burden interstate commerce to an extent that Congress can legitimately prohibit such discrimination?
Legal provision: Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title II
The Court found that discrimination in restaurants posed significant burdens on "the interstate flow of food and upon the movement on products generally." Furthermore, argued Justice Clark, discrimination also posed restrictions on blacks who traveled from state to state. Congress's solution to this problem was appropriate and within its bounds to regulate interstate commerce.