Ollie's Barbecue (D) is a restaurant in Birmingham, AL which refuses to serve blacks in it dining room since it opened. Now, this is in violation of the Civil Rights Act.
D buys $70k worth of food for the restaurant from other states.
Lower court found Civil Rights Act unconstitutional.
SCOTUS reversed, found Civil Rights Act constitutional.
Does a restaurant's refusal to serve blacks burden interstate commerce to an extent that Congress can legitimately prohibit such discrimination?
Congress can prohibit a restaurant from refusing to serve blacks under the Commerce Clause since discrimination in restaurants places significant burdens on the flow of food and travel in interstate commerce.
There was ample evidence in Congress for them to adequately believe that discrimination in restaurants caused obstruction of interstate travel and kept businesses from forming that would have formed otherwise.
Even though the volume of food purchased in interstate commerce by D is small, see Wickard v. Filburn:
That D's own contribution to commerce may be trivial by itself is not enough to remove him from the scope of federal regulation where his contribution, taken together with that of many others similarly situated, is far from trivial.
Court has held time and again that commerce power extends to activities of retail establishments, including restaurants, which directly or indirectly burden or obstruct interstate commerce.
Where we find that the legislators, in light of the facts and testimony before them, have a rational basis for finding a chosen regulatory scheme necessary to the protection of commerce, SC's investigation is at an end.
Congress's power in this field is broad and sweeping.