• Last updated on November 11, 2022

This decision represents the broadest interpretation of the commerce clause ever issued by the Supreme Court.

Early in U.S. history, the Supreme Court made a distinction between interstate commerce, which was regulated by the federal government, and intrastate commerce, which was the province of the states. Starting with National Labor Relations Board v. Jones and Laughlin Steel Corp.[case]National Labor Relations Board v. Jones and Laughlin Steel Corp.[National Labor Relations Board v. Jones and Laughlin Steel Corp.] (1937), the Court began abandoning the distinction, and, by the time of Katzenbach, it was virtually gone. In Katzenbach, Ollie’s Barbecue, a family-owned restaurant that bought its food locally and served people from the area, refused to seat African Americans. The Court ruled that the commerce clause applied, giving Congress power to regulate discrimination, because even a small portion of the food served may have moved in interstate commerce. The Court also found that the restaurant’s discriminatory practices violated the public accommodations provision of the 1964 Civil Rights Acts. This decision considerably broadened the powers of Congress to regulate commerce.Discrimination, race;Katzenbach v. McClung[Katzenbach v. McClung]Commerce clause;Katzenbach v. McClung[Katzenbach v. McClung]

Buchanan v. Warley

Commerce, regulation of

Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States

National Labor Relations Board v. Jones and Laughlin Steel Corp.

Race and discrimination

Categories: History Content