Loving vs. The Commonwealth of Virginia: Significance in Marriage Law

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Loving v. Virginia Significance in Marriage Law A case is said to be landmark when it produces a precedent that is regarded as law by jurists during other cases. These cases are seen as such, generally, because they change the direction of the people making the laws and sitting on the courts, and forge a new path for justice which is more often than not seen as a perfection of the law. One such case occurred in Loving v. The Commonwealth of Virginia in 1967. The original complaint was made in 1958 during a time when the State of Virginia, which is considered deeply ingrained in the attitudes of the South though parts have largely Northern sympathies, still had laws on the books which discriminated substantially against minorities, especially Black citizens. The law in question did not allow two people of different races to marry because as a justice in a lower court ruled "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 marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix" (Rank, 2010). The case eventually went to the United States Supreme Court, after the initial ruling was upheld in the Virginia Supreme Court, and the decision was reversed. This paper looks at the arguments for both sides of the issue, and then argues why this was a landmark case of the type. It was not

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