Essay on Loving v. Virginia (388 U.S. 1)

2059 Words 9 Pages
On July 11, 1958 a couple of hours after midnight, Richard Loving a white man and Mildred Loving an African American woman were awakened to the presence of three officers in their bedroom. One of the three officers demanded from Richard to identify the woman next to him. Mildred, full of fear, told the officers that she was his wife, while Richard pointed to the marriage license on the wall. The couple was then charged and later found guilty in violation of the state's anti-miscegenation statute.
Mr. and Mrs. Loving were residents of the small town of Central point, Virginia. They were family friends who had dated each other since he was seventeen and she a teenager. When they learned that marriage was illegal for them in Virginia, they
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to the same degree. Thus, ... because its miscegenation statutes punish equally both the white and the Negro participants in an interracial marriage, these statutes, ... do not constitute an invidious discrimination based upon race.
The court also referred to its 1955 decision in “Naim v. Naim” as stating the reasons supporting the validity of the anti-miscegenation laws. In Naim, the state court concluded that the State's legitimate purposes were "to preserve the racial integrity of its citizens," and to prevent "the corruption of blood," "a mongrel breed of citizens," and "the obliteration of racial pride," obviously an endorsement of the doctrine of White Supremacy. The court also reasoned that marriage has traditionally been subject to state regulation without federal intervention, and consequently, the regulation of marriage should be left to exclusive state control by the Tenth Amendment.
The statements related to the courts attempt to "preserve the racial integrity of its citizens" would have been ludicrous any place but was especially laughable in Caroline County, and in the Lovings' hometown of Central Point, which had been an epicenter of race mixing for at least 200 years. White families and their fair-skinned black relatives lived so close together that they bumped
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