Loving v. Virginia (No. 395)
In Loving v Virginia a married couple from Washington D.C. moved to Virginia where they were then subject to Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute. Anti-miscegenation laws prohibit the marrying of different races with another. In Virginia, this statute prohibited the marriage between whites and any other race. Richard Loving, a white man, and Mildred Jeter, a black woman, were married in Washington D.C. They then moved to the state of Virginia where they faced criminal charges. Both of them pled guilty and were sentenced to one year imprisonment but the sentence would be waved for 25 years if they moved out of state and didn’t return. The married couple appealed the decision to a three judge court panel and the decision was upheld, it then went to the Supreme Court of Virginia, where it was also upheld. From there it went to the Supreme Court of the United States where it was overturned and anti-miscegenation laws were found to be unconstitutional. The Supreme Court of the United States declared it unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment, which calls for the equal treatment of all citizens.
Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute barred people deemed to be white from marrying anyone that were other than white. A white person couldn’t marry a Native American, an Asian, a black person, or anyone who had a black ancestor or were more than 1/16th Native American. It was found that because it appeared Virginia were basing this law off of “White Superiority” and only barred whites from marrying outside of their race, it was unequal treatment of all of the citizens. One of the most important lines in this decision came at the end where it said: An Act to Preserve Racial Integrity," extends only to the integrity of the white race. While Virginia prohibits whites from marrying any nonwhite (subject to the exception for the descendants of Pocahontas), Negroes, Orientals, and any other racial class may intermarry without...
Cited: Lesson Notes, POLS210, American Public University System, accessed
26 May 2013.
Loving v. Virginia, 1967, Legal Information Institute, accessed on 26 May 2013,
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