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28 CFR Part 36, Appendix B: Preamble to Regulation on Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Facilities (1991 ADA Title III Regulations Preamble)

Note: This regulation or portion of the regulations was replaced by the Department of Justice’s updated ADA regulations in 2010. It may not be complete or currently applicable. See the comparable section under the 2010 ADA Regulations.

"Commerce.'' The definition of "commerce'' is identical to the statutory definition provided in section 301(l) of the ADA. It means travel, trade, traffic, commerce, transportation, or communication among the several States, between any foreign country or any territory or possession and any State, or between points in the same State but through another State or foreign country. Commerce is defined in the same manner as in title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits racial discrimination in public accommodations.

The term "commerce'' is used in the definition of "place of public accommodation.'' According to that definition, one of the criteria that an entity must meet before it can be considered a place of public accommodation is that its operations affect commerce. The term "commerce'' is similarly used in the definition of "commercial facility.''

The use of the phrase "operations affect commerce'' applies the full scope of coverage of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution in enforcing the ADA. The Constitution gives Congress broad authority to regulate interstate commerce, including the activities of local business enterprises (e.g., a physician's office, a neighborhood restaurant, a laundromat, or a bakery) that affect interstate commerce through the purchase or sale of products manufactured in other States, or by providing services to individuals from other States. Because of the integrated nature of the national economy, the ADA and this final rule will have extremely broad application.


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