Burton v. Wilmington Parking Authority/Concurrence Stewart

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Case Syllabus
Opinion of the Court
Concurring Opinion
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United States Supreme Court

365 U.S. 715

Burton  v.  Wilmington Parking Authority

 Argued: Feb. 21 and 23, 1961. --- Decided: April 17, 1961

Mr. Justice STEWART, concurring.

I agree that the judgment must be reversed, but I reach that conclusion by a route much more direct than the one traveled by the Court. In upholding Eagle's right to deny service to the appellant solely because of his race, the Supreme Court of Delaware relied upon a statute of that State which permits the proprietor of a restaurant to refuse to serve 'persons whose reception or entertainment by him would be offensive to the major part of his customers * * *.' [*] There is no suggestion in the record that the appellant as an individual was such a person. The highest court of Delaware has thus construed this legislative enactment as authorizing discriminatory classification based exclusively on color. Such a law seems to me clearly violative of the Fourteenth Amendment. I think, therefore, that the appeal was properly taken, and that the statute, as authoritatively construed by the Supreme Court of Delaware, is constitutionally invalid.

Mr. Justice FRANKFURTER, dissenting.


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