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The Papers of Justice Tom C. Clark

DesegregationSchool PrayerFourth AmendmentFifth AmendmentVoting RightsCommunismMexican American Civil Rights

Sweatt v. PainterBrown v. Board of EducationHeart of Atlanta Motel v. GeorgiaKatzenbach v. McClung

Desegregation - Katzenbach v. McClung, 1964

March in front of Melba Theater

Center for American History, UT Austin DI Number 01376 Hickman (R.C.) Photographic Archive, 1949-1961, 1969 "Melba Theater, 1955"

Selected Case Files

Docket Sheet

Bench Memorandum

Draft opinion rejecting Application to Stay

Draft opinion with edits suggested by Justice Harlan

Letter from Justice Brennan joining opinion and making comments

Letter from Justice Harlan commenting on opinion



This case was another important test of the constitutionality of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. One of the provisions of the Act forbids racial discrimination in public facilities engaged in interstate commerce. Ollie McClung, the owner of Ollie's Barbecue in Birmingham, Alabama, continued refusing service to black customers after the passage of the Act, and brought suit against U.S. Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach contesting the enforcement of the Act. The issue before the court was whether Congress exceeded its Commerce Clause powers to regulate interstate commerce. The Supreme Court ruled against Ollie McClung and held that Congress had the authority to enforce this portion of the Act.

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