Companion case to Heart of Atlanta Motel.
It involved Ollie's Barbecue, which is a family-owned restaurant
in Birmingham, Alabama.
Specializes in barbecued meats and homemade pies, with a seating
capacity of 220 customers.
It is located on a state highway 11 blocks from an interstate
one and a somewhat greater distance from railroad and bus
stations. (Possible interstate
The restaurant caters to a family and white-collar trade with a
take-out service for
[African Americans]. (Burden
on interstate commerce)
It employs 36 persons, two-thirds of whom are [African
70K or the 150K spent on meat is purchased from local suppliers
who purchase from out of state. (Interstate
Challenged the constitutionality of applying Title II of the
1964 Civil Rights Act.
Discrimination in restaurants had a DIRECT and HIGHLY
restrictive effect upon interstate travel by [African
Not served on premises
Discriminatory practices prevent [African Americans] from
buying prepared food served on
the premises while on a trip, except in isolated and
unkempt restaurants and under most unsatisfactory and often
Discourages travel, obstructs interstate commerce
This obviously discourages travel
and obstructs interstate commerce
for one can hardly travel without eating.
Deters Professionals and Industry from moving to State
Discrimination deterred professional,
as well as skilled, people from
moving into areas where such practices occurred and
thereby caused industry to be
reluctant to establish there.
Sufficient Support (Sold less interstate, because of
This was sufficient support for the conclusion that established
restaurants in such areas
sold less interstate goods because of the discrimination.
Interstate travel was obstructed directly by it.
Business in general suffered
Many new businesses refrained from establishing there as a
result of discrimination.
District Court ERRED
Hence the District Court was in
error in concluding that there was no connection
between discrimination and the movement of interstate commerce.
Insignificant Volume of Food Purchased
Agreed when compared with the total food stuffs moving in
Case by case determination
The Constitution required a case-by-case determination
judicial or administrative that racial discrimination.
In Darby, Disagreed
Congress has determined for itself that
refusals of service to [African
Americans] have imposed burdens both upon the
(1) interstate flow of food
and upon the (2) movement of
Where we find that the legislators, in light of the facts and
testimony before them, have a rational basis for finding a
chosen regulatory scheme necessary to the protection of
commerce, our investigation is at an end.
The only remaining question -- one answered in the [**384]
affirmative by the court below -- is whether the particular
restaurant either serves or offers to serve interstate travelers
or serves food a substantial portion of which has moved in
- Congress had Rational Basis for finding Racial Discrimination
We must conclude that [Congress] had a rational basis for
finding that racial discrimination in restaurants had a direct
and adverse effect on the free flow of interstate commerce.
- Congress prohibited discrimination
Congress prohibited discrimination only in those establishments
having a close tie to interstate commerce, i. e., those, like
the McClungs', serving food
that has come from out of the State.
We think in so doing that Congress
acted well within its power to
protect and foster commerce in extending the coverage
of Title II only to those
restaurants offering to serve interstate travelers or serving
food, a substantial portion of which has moved in
CONCURRING Justice Black
We do not consider the effect on interstate commerce of only
isolated, individual, local event, without regard to the fact
that this single local event when added to many others of a
similar nature may impose a burden on interstate commerce by
reducing its volume or distorting its flow.
There are 20 million African Americans in our country.
It would seriously discourage their travel if local sellers of
interstate food are permitted to exclude all [African American]
Congress has constitutional power under the Commerce and
Necessary and Proper Clauses to protect interstate commerce from
the injuries bound to befall it from these discriminatory