Loving v. Virginia

Related Ads

Need Professional Help? Talk to a Lawyer

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

searchbox small

In 1958, Richard Loving, a white man, married Mildred Jeter, a black woman, in the District of Columbia. They then returned to their home in Virginia, where they were eventually convicted of violating the state's antimiscegenation statute banning interracial marriages.

Prior to the Loving case, the Court had been reluctant to tackle such laws. The issue was believed to be too controversial and would only inflame resistance to civil rights in the South, especially on the heels of the Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education.

In this case, however, the Court felt the time had come to address the issue. In a unanimous decision, the Court struck down Virginias law. It rejected the states claim that the law was constitutional because it applied equally to blacks and whites. The Court called race distinctions "odious to a free people" and said, Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.

 

 Loving v. Virginia

 

388 U.S. 1 (1967)

APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF APPEALS OF VIRGINIA

Syllabus

Virginia's statutory scheme to prevent marriages between persons solely on the basis of racial classifications held to violate the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 388 U. S. 4-12.

206 Va. 924, 147 S.E.2d 78, reversed.

To read the rest of the opinion in Loving v. Virginia, go to Nolos US Supreme Court Center.

Get Informed

Empower yourself with our plain-English information

Do It Yourself

Handle routine tasks with our products

Find a Lawyer

Connect with a local lawyer who meets your needs

The fastest, easiest way to find, choose, and connect to litigation lawyers

LA-NOLO2:DRU.1.6.1.20140626.27175