MOOSE LODGE NO. 107 v. IRVIS

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
70-75
Appellee 
Irvis
Appellant 
Moose Lodge No. 107
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the appellees)
(Argued the cause for the appellant)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

K. Leroy Irvis, a black man who was a guest of a white member of the Moose Lodge No. 107, was refused service at the club's dining room because of his race. The bylaws of the Lodge limited membership to white male Caucasians. Irvis challenged the club's refusal to serve him, arguing that the action of the Pennsylvania liquor board issuing the Lodge a license made the club's discrimination "state action."

Question 

Did the discriminatory practices violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?

Conclusion 
Decision: 6 votes for Moose Lodge No. 107, 3 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Equal Protection

No. In a 6-to-3 decision, the Court held that the Moose Lodge's refusal to serve food and beverages to Irvis because he was black did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court noted that the state action doctrine did not necessarily apply to all private entities that received benefits or services from the government; otherwise, the Court reasoned, all private associations that received electricity, water, and fire protection would be subject to state regulation. The Court found that the Moose Lodge "a private social club in a private building," and thus not subject to the Equal Protection Clause.

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MOOSE LODGE NO. 107 v. IRVIS. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 21 September 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1971/1971_70_75>.
MOOSE LODGE NO. 107 v. IRVIS, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1971/1971_70_75 (last visited September 21, 2014).
"MOOSE LODGE NO. 107 v. IRVIS," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed September 21, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1971/1971_70_75.