Loving v. Virginia: Lifting the Ban against Interracial Marriage

Loving v. Virginia: Lifting the Ban against Interracial Marriage

Loving v. Virginia: Lifting the Ban against Interracial Marriage

Loving v. Virginia: Lifting the Ban against Interracial Marriage

Synopsis

The impact and ramifications of cases argued before the Supreme Court are felt for decades, if not centuries. Only the most important issues of the day and the land make it to the nine justices, and the effects of their decisions reach far beyond the litigants. Under discussion here are five of the most momentous Supreme Court cases ever. They include Marbury v. Madison, Roe v. Wade, Dred Scott, Brown v. Board of Education, and The Pentagon Papers. An absorbing exploration of enormously controversial events, the series details, highlights, and clarifies the complex legal arguments of both sides. Placing the cases within their historical context (though they ultimately emerge as works in progress), the authors reveal each decision's relevance both to the past and the present. the result is a fascinating glimpse across the centuries into the workings of the Supreme Court and the American judicial system.

Excerpt

AT 2 a.m. On June 12, 1958, as Richard Perry Loving and Mildred Jeter Loving lay sleeping in their bed in her parents' home in Central Point, Virginia, the sheriff and two deputies barged into their room and shone flashlights into their terrified faces. Caroline County Sheriff R. Garnett Brooks demanded of Richard, [What are you doing in bed with this lady?]

The young man mutely pointed to the marriage certificate hanging on the bedroom wall.

[That's no good here,] the sheriff responded. With that, he arrested the young couple, charging them with miscegenation, or intermarriage between people of different races.

Ten days before, on June?, the pair had traveled to Washington, D.C., about one hundred miles from the Virginia county where they lived, and exchanged wedding vows, something they could not do in their home state. Virginia barred the two from marrying because Richard Loving was white and Mildred Jeter, whose ancestors were Cherokee Indian and African American, was considered [colored] under state law.

Richard Loving, a twenty-four-year-old bricklayer, and Mildred Jeter, eighteen, had grown up together in . . .

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