List of Landmark Court Decisions in The United States - Individual Rights - Power of Congress To Enforce Civil Rights

Power of Congress To Enforce Civil Rights

  • Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States, 379 U.S. 241 (1964) Interstate commerce, and hence the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 (prohibiting discrimination against blacks) applies to places of public accommodation patronized by interstate travelers.
  • Katzenbach v. McClung, 379 U.S. 294 (1964), 379 U.S. 802 (1964) The power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce (Article I, section 8) extends to a restaurant not patronized by interstate travelers, but which serves food that has moved in interstate commerce. This ruling makes the Civil Rights Act of 1964 apply to virtually all businesses.
  • City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997). The enforcement clause of the 14th Amendment does not permit Congress to substantially increase the scope of the rights determined by the Judiciary. (here, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993), but can only enact legislation that remedies or prevents actual violations of existing Court-determined rights.

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Famous quotes containing the words civil rights, rights, civil, power, congress and/or enforce:

    Civil Rights: What black folks are given in the U.S. on the installment plan, as in civil-rights bills. Not to be confused with human rights, which are the dignity, stature, humanity, respect, and freedom belonging to all people by right of their birth.
    Dick Gregory (b. 1932)

    [The Republican Party] consists of those who, believing in the doctrine that mankind are capable of governing themselves and hating hereditary power as an insult to the reason and an outrage to the rights of men, are naturally offended at every public measure that does not appeal to the understanding and to the general interest of the community.
    James Madison (1751–1836)

    ... one of the blind spots of most Negroes is their failure to realize that small overtures from whites have a large significance ... I now realize that this feeling inevitably takes possession of one in the bitter struggle for equality. Indeed, I share it. Yet I wonder how we can expect total acceptance to step full grown from the womb of prejudice, with no embryo or infancy or childhood stages.
    Sarah Patton Boyle, U.S. civil rights activist and author. The Desegregated Heart, part 1, ch. 10 (1962)

    All goes to show that the soul in man is not an organ, but animates and exercises all the organs; is not a function, like the power of memory, of calculation, of comparison, but uses these as hands and feet; is not a faculty, but a light, is not the intellect or the will, but the master of the intellect and the will; is the background of our being, in which they lie,—an immensity not possessed and that cannot be possessed.
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    Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924)

    The kind of man who demands that government enforce his ideas is always the kind whose ideas are idiotic.
    —H.L. (Henry Lewis)