The Supreme Court: Public Accommodations on Trial

The Congress shall have power to regulate commerce . . . among the several states.— U.S. Constitution

Can those few words—the famous commerce clause—empower Congress to blow down private racial barriers in public accommodations across the land? Yes, says Congress, which deliberately invoked the commerce clause for Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. No, cry Southern businessmen, who argue that Congress has stretched the clause far beyond its proper reach. So anxious is the Supreme Court to rule on the first two test cases that last week it took the rare step...

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