GOV 357M
Bates v. United States
In this hypothetical, the Supreme Court needs to focus on establishing the power of Congress to enact the legislation not the moral implications within the Public Accommodations Equal Access Act. In Article 1 Section 8, the Commerce Clause declares that "Congress shall have the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes." Especially after the numerous executive orders following the New Deal, Congress has relied on the Commerce Clause to bypass the Tenth Amendment and to execute their legislative authority. This on-going controversy illustrates the difficulty of determining the equilibrium between federal and states rights. I believe the best argument follows the federal district court\'s evidence that Congress can confide in the Commerce Clause to validate the law.
Whether the framers envisioned a strong central government or not is more of a political and philosophical debate than a legal debate. The Commerce Clause can be applied to a farmer\'s production of milk that was intended only for use by the farmer that milked it and never touched interstate commerce. But the court would reason that any goods made for home use basically impacted prices on other goods because if he produced it at home, he wouldn\'t buy it somewhere else. The new millennium is battling a new discrimination of the homosexuality community just as African - Americans witnessed in the mid 20th century. So, the gay and lesbian cases are essentially the same as the civil rights cases in the 60\'s. Those cases always held that if you are a common carrier, hotel, motel, resort, gas station, restaurant, taxi, limo, bus, etc., that you may not deny service based on race, because inter-state travel impacts interstate commerce. Therefore, the Commerce Clause can say that what you are doing is an unlawful restraint on trade.
The homosexual community consists of American citizens that participate in consumption and production of interstate commerce just as anyone else would. In relation to Bates\' institution, just as stated in the example above, he feels that homosexuality is immoral. So these couples would most likely never visit this hotel and bar affecting the interstate commerce by spending their money elsewhere. In reality, Bates could be losing business by not allowing this specific clientele into his institution. On the other hand if the Equal Access Act was executed, homosexual couples could now spend their money in a new environment ultimately contributing to interstate commerce. Bates argues that his right of due process would be breached because the Equal Access Act would drastically decrease his business. Eros Lodge specifically advertises its close-knit atmosphere with a small pool catered to couples that want to spend their get-a-way together privately and with no distractions. Therefore, little social interaction would occur with the homosexuals, and the presence of the new customers would not affect the stated objective of the hotel: an escape for married couples. Some people that were surveyed said that they would never come back to Eros Lodge if homosexuals were allowed, but a new customer base would be frequenting that would make up for any loss of customers.
In the case Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States, Congress\' power allows it to prohibit racial discrimination in hotel lodging under the Commerce Clause. The court ruled that it had the authority to control a business that even served mostly interstate customers just like Eros Lodge. Open accommodations had no right to select certain guests due to their personal or moral views on who should fit as their customers. The struggle of the racial and homosexuality issue is whether or not you can solely rest this decision upon the Commerce Clause. Homosexual marriage is legal, and they are married couples just as anyone else. In this case, however, all the court needs to base their decision on is the fact that their network of money (commerce) they use is the same as a heterosexual couple would use. The bottom line is that the Commerce Clause has been interpreted to encompass almost anything. In Katzenbach v. McClung, the cases stated that a restaurant couldn\'t discriminate against "Negros" even though the establishment was primarily a local restaurant and its food supply purchases didn\'t affect commerce. The Equal Access Act relates to