Loving v. Virginia


When it comes to civil rights cases, Loving v. Virginia (1967) got rid of laws banning interracial marriage.

The facts of Loving v. Virginia are simple. The state of Virginia enacted a piece of legislation, which prevented a white and black person to marry. The state of Virginia Supreme Court argued that the act served the compelling state interest of racial purity under rational basis review. Moreover, the Racial Integrity act didn’t discriminate since it treated both whites and blacks equally under the separate but equal doctrine.

Moreover, the holding of Loving was easy to digest. The Supreme Court said the Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute, the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, was unconstitutional It was a violation of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

Further, the issue of Loving v. Virginia was simple: Was the rational basis review the correct standard to evaluate the Virginia statute. Was the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment violated?

The Loving case set the following rule: Restricting marriage on the basis of race violates the 14 amendment.

In the 1960s, it was illegal for whites and blacks to get married. Ironically, Leon M. Bazile, judge, read a bible quote arguing for miscegenation: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.” People that married were fined and went to jail sentence.

When I read this case, I find it incredible. It wasn’t that long ago that interracial couples weren’t allowed to get married. No wonder pregnancies and illegitimate children were frowned upon in the 1960s.

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