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Loving v. Virginia

Loving v. Virginia

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Loving v. Virginia

Loving v. Virginia: The Background

The case of Loving v. Virginia deals with marriage laws. It begins with a woman named Mildred Loving, an African-American who married Richard Loving, a Caucasian male. The couple married in Washington D.C. in the year of 1958. Both Richard and Mildred were residents of the state of Virginia; however, Virginia did not allow couples of different races to marry. Because of this law, Richard Loving and Mildred decided to marry in neighboring Washington D.C. which did allow marriages between different races to take place. 

When the couple returned from their marriage ceremony in Washington, D.C., the Lovings were promptly arrested because they violated Virginia law, which did not allow couples of different races to get married. This law, which was called the Anti-Miscegenation Statue, was passed in the state of Virginia in 1924 and formally made inter-marriage illegal. “Inter-marriage” according to this law referred to the marriage of people of different races. The Lovings were sentenced to a year in prison for violating this law. In response to their arrest, the Lovings appealed and claimed that the state law was wrong and that it violated the United States Constitution. 

Loving v. Virginia: The Case Profile

The case of Loving v. Virginia took place on April 10th of 1967. The case resulted from the appeal of the original arrest. Richard Perry Loving and Lidred Jeter Loving filed an appeal against the state of Virginia because they felt the state’s law was a direct violation of the couple’s right to marry and their marital privacy. These Lovings claimed that the state law violated their 14th Amendment rights to pursuit life, liberty and happiness. The State of Virginia initially offered a reduced sentence so long as the couple left the state. The Lovings didn’t think this was an acceptable compromise so they took their case to the Supreme Court. 

The case of Loving v. Virginia was decided on June 12th of 1967 and was heard in the United States Supreme Court. 

Loving v. Virginia: The Verdict

In the Loving v. Virginia case, the United States Supreme Court over-turned the Virginia state law by claiming it was in direct violation of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause, which forces all governments to treat every citizen in an equal manner when passing laws. The government must only pass laws that are in line with the 14th Amendments provision that every citizen has the right to pursuit happiness. In Loving v. Virginia, the United States Supreme Court added that the law was not only a violation of the 14th Amendment, but also a violation of an American citizen’s individual freedoms. 

 

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