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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