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Julius ChambersA Life in the Legal Struggle for Civil Rights$
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Richard A. Rosen and Joseph Mosnier

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469628547

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469628547.001.0001

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Fighting the Uneven Battle

Fighting the Uneven Battle

The YMCA Cases and Wooten V. Moore

Chapter:
(p.103) Chapter Six Fighting the Uneven Battle
Source:
Julius Chambers
Author(s):

Richard A. Rosen

Joseph Mosnier

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469628547.003.0007

This chapter describes Chambers's efforts to enforce Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited discrimination in restaurants, motels, and other places of public accommodation, against attempts to circumvent the new law's broad reach, confirmed by an earlier U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The Charlotte YMCA argued for a "private club" exemption under Title II, but quickly abandoned that claim and agreed to desegregate when Chambers filed suit. Chambers also sued the Raleigh YMCA, which sought to prevent desegregation of its exercise facilities on a similar claim notwithstanding that the YMCA's officers had desegregated their cafeteria and rental lodging. After a loss at trial before an unsympathetic U.S. District Court judge, Chambers and LDF won an unqualified victory on appeal before the Fourth Circuit. Chambers also prevailed in a suit to open Moore's Barbecue Restaurant in New Bern to black customers despite Moore's claim to have arranged his business affairs so as to be free of any connection to "interstate commerce," a key element of the Supreme Court's basis for upholding Title II. Here, Chambers overcame a hostile federal judge who willingly ignored a fundamental judicial canon by repeatedly communicating privately about the case with Moore's attorney.

Keywords:   Julius Chambers, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, civil rights litigation, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title II, public accommodation, Charlotte YMCA, Raleigh YMCA, Wooten v. Moore, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, U.S. District Court Judge John D. Larkins Jr.

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