MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN delivered the opinion of the Court.
Petitioners, Negro residents of Little Rock, Arkansas, brought this class action in the District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas to enjoin respondent from denying them admission to a recreational facility called Lake Nixon Club owned and operated by respondent, Euell Paul, and his wife. The complaint alleged that Lake Nixon Club was a "public accommodation" subject to the provisions of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 78 Stat. 243, 42 U. S. C. § 2000a et seq., and that respondent violated the Act in refusing petitioners admission solely on racial grounds.
Lake Nixon Club, located 12 miles west of Little Rock, is a 232-acre amusement area with swimming, boating, sun bathing, picnicking, miniature golf, dancing facilities, and a snack bar. The Pauls purchased the Lake Nixon site in 1962 and subsequently operated this amusement business there in a racially segregated manner.
Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 enacted a sweeping prohibition of discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin at places of public accommodation whose operations affect commerce.
We therefore turn to the question whether Lake Nixon Club is "a place of public accommodation" as defined by § 201 (b) of the 1964 Act, and, if so, whether its operations "affect commerce" within the meaning of § 201 (c) of that Act.
Section 201 (b) defines four categories of establishments as covered public accommodations. Three of these categories are relevant here:
Section 201 (c) sets forth standards for determining whether the operations of an establishment in any of these categories affect commerce within the meaning of Title II:
Petitioners argue first that Lake Nixon's snack bar is a covered public accommodation under §§ 201 (b) (2) and 201 (c) (2), and that as such it brings the entire establishment
The Pauls advertise the Lake Nixon Club in a monthly magazine called "Little Rock Today," which is distributed to guests at Little Rock hotels, motels, and restaurants, to acquaint them with available tourist attractions in the area. Regular advertisements for Lake Nixon were also broadcast over two area radio stations. In addition, Lake Nixon has advertised in the "Little Rock Air Force Base," a monthly newspaper published at the Little Rock Air Force Base, in Jacksonville, Arkansas. This choice of advertising media leaves no doubt that the Pauls were seeking broad-based patronage from an audience which they knew to include interstate travelers. Thus, the Lake Nixon Club unquestionably offered to serve out-of-state visitors to the Little Rock area. And it would be unrealistic to assume that none of the 100,000 patrons actually served by the Club each season was an interstate traveler.
The snack bar's status as a covered establishment automatically brings the entire Lake Nixon facility within the ambit of Title II. Civil Rights Act of 1964, §§ 201 (b) (4) and 201 (c) (4), set out supra; see H. R. Rep. No. 914, 88th Cong., 1st Sess., 20; Fazzio Real Estate Co. v. Adams, 396 F.2d 146 (C. A. 5th Cir. 1968).
Petitioners also argue that the Lake Nixon Club is a covered public accommodation under §§ 201 (b) (3) and 201 (c) (3) of the 1964 Act. These sections proscribe discrimination by "any motion picture house, theater, concert hall, sports arena, stadium or other place of exhibition or entertainment" which "customarily presents films, performances, athletic teams,
President Kennedy, in submitting to Congress the public accommodations provisions of the proposed Civil Rights Act, emphasized that "no action is more contrary to the spirit of our democracy and Constitution— or more rightfully resented by a Negro citizen who seeks only equal treatment—than the barring of that citizen from restaurants, hotels, theatres, recreational areas and other public accommodations and facilities."
Senator Magnuson, floor manager of Title II, spoke in a similar vein.
Admittedly, most of the discussion in Congress regarding the coverage of Title II focused on places of spectator entertainment rather than recreational areas. But it does not follow that the scope of § 201 (b) (3) should be restricted to the primary objects of Congress' concern when a natural reading of its language would call for broader coverage. In light of the overriding purpose of Title II "to remove the daily affront and humiliation involved in discriminatory denials of access to facilities
The remaining question is whether the operations of the Lake Nixon Club "affect commerce" within the meaning of § 201 (c) (3). We conclude that they do. Lake Nixon's customary "sources of entertainment . . . move in commerce." The Club leases 15 paddle boats on a royalty basis from an Oklahoma company. Another boat was purchased from the same company. The Club's juke box was manufactured outside Arkansas and plays records manufactured outside the State. The legislative history indicates that mechanical sources of entertainment such as these were considered by Congress to be "sources of entertainment" within the meaning of § 201 (c) (3).
MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS, concurring.
While I join the opinion of the Court, I also rest on the Fourteenth Amendment. My views were set forth in Bell v. Maryland, 378 U.S. 226, 242, where I said:
And see my concurring opinion in Atlanta Motel v. United States, 379 U.S. 241, 279 et seq.
MR. JUSTICE BLACK, dissenting.
I could and would agree with the Court's holding in this case had Congress in the 1964 Civil Rights Act based its power to bar racial discrimination at places of public accommodations upon § 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment.
(A) Did Lake Nixon serve or offer to serve interstate travelers? There is not a word of evidence showing that such an interstate traveler was ever there or ever invited there or ever dreamed of going there. Nixon Lake can be reached only by country roads. The record fails to show whether these country roads are passable in all kinds of weather. They seem to be at least six to eight miles off the state or interstate roads over which interstate travelers are accustomed to travel. Petitioners did not offer evidence to show whether Lake Nixon is a natural lake, or whether it is simply a small body of water obtained by building a dam across a little creek in a narrow hollow between the hills. The District Court made findings about Lake Nixon and Spring Lake
In the first place the court's statement that "it is probably true" takes this out of the category of a finding of fact; and secondly, "out-of-State people spending time in or around Little Rock" who happened to visit Lake Nixon would certainly not be the kind of "interstate travelers" doing the kind of interstate traveling that would "affect" interstate commerce.
The Court of Appeals, affirming the findings of the District Court, said:
This Court rejects these joint findings of the two courts below in this way. Referring to advertisements of Lake Nixon in a monthly magazine distributed at Little Rock hotels, motels, and restaurants, to radio announcements, and to advertisements in the "Little Rock Air Force Base," this Court says:
In the above statement this Court jumps from the fact that there were an estimated number of admissions onto the club premises during a season to the conclusion that some one or more of these was an "interstate traveler" and that the owners of the premises, Mr. and Mrs. Paul, were bound to know that there were interstate travelers
(B) The second prong of the test to determine applicability of the Act to Lake Nixon is whether a "substantial portion" of the hamburgers, milk, and soda pop sold there had previously moved in interstate commerce. The Court's opinion generously concedes that the record is "not as complete on this point as might be desired. . . ." This is certainly no exaggeration. In fact, I would go further and agree with the two courts below that the record is totally devoid of evidence to show that a "substantial portion" of the small amount of food sold had previously moved in interstate commerce. The District Court found as follows on this point:
Fact-findings on serious problems like this one, which involves marking the jurisdictional authority of State and Nation, should not be made on the basis of "judicial notice" and on probabilities not based on evidence. The Court of Appeals approved this finding of the District Court that a substantial part of the food served at Lake Nixon had not previously moved in interstate commerce. The Court of Appeals said:
Finally, the Court mentions, almost as an afterthought, Lake Nixon's 15 paddle boats leased from an Oklahoma company on a royalty basis. As to these paddle boats the Court of Appeals said: "It is common knowledge that annually thousands of this type boat are manufactured locally in Arkansas, and there is no evidence whatsoever that any of the equipment moved in interstate commerce." 395 F. 2d, at 125.
The Court's opinion also mentions a juke box leased by Lake Nixon from the juke box's local owner. The Court apparently refers to this juke box on the premise that playing music and dancing makes an establishment the kind of place of "entertainment" that is covered by § 201 (b) (3) of the Act.
It seems clear to me that neither the paddle boats nor the locally leased juke box is sufficient to justify a holding that the operation of Lake Nixon affects interstate commerce within the meaning of the Act. While it is the duty of courts to enforce this important Act, we are not called on to hold nor should we hold subject to that Act this country people's recreation center, lying in what may be, so far as we know, a little "sleepy hollow" between Arkansas hills miles away from any interstate highway. This would be stretching the Commerce Clause so as to give the Federal Government complete control over every little remote country place of recreation in every nook and cranny of every precinct and county in every one of the 50 States. This goes too far for me.
"All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin."
"The provisions of this title shall not apply to a private club or other establishment not in fact open to the public, except to the extent that the facilities of such establishment are made available to the customers or patrons of an establishment within the scope of subsection (b)."
"These principles are applicable not merely to motion picture theaters but to other establishments which receive supplies, equipment, or goods through the channels of interstate commerce. If these establishments narrow their potential markets by artificially restricting their patrons to non-Negroes, the volume of sales and, therefore, the volume of interstate purchases will be less." (Emphasis added.) 110 Cong. Rec. 7402 (1964).
"(3) any motion picture house, theater, concert hall, sports arena, stadium or other place of exhibition or entertainment;"
An establishment affects commerce within the meaning of this subsection if, according to § 201 (c) the Act, "it customarily presents films, performances, athletic teams, exhibitions, or other sources of entertainment which move in commerce . . . ."
"I recognize that every remote, possible, speculative effect on commerce should not be accepted as an adequate constitutional ground to uproot and throw into the discard all our traditional distinctions between what is purely local, and therefore controlled by state laws, and what affects the national interest and is therefore subject to control by federal laws. I recognize too that some isolated and remote lunchroom which sells only to local people and buys almost all its supplies in the locality may possibly be beyond the reach of the power of Congress to regulate commerce, just as such an establishment is not covered by the present Act." 379 U. S., at 275.