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Loving v. Virginia

Law Dictionary
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Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Constitutional Law Keyed to Stone

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 388 U.S. 1, 87 S. Ct. 1817, 18 L. Ed. 2d 1010, 1967 U.S. 1082.

Brief Fact Summary. The state of Virginia enacted laws making it a felony for a white person to intermarry with a black person or the reverse. The constitutionality of the statutes was called into question.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Restricting the freedom to marry solely on the basis of race violates the central meaning of the Equal Protection Clause.


Facts. The state of Virginia enacted laws making it a felony for a white person to intermarry with a black person or a black person to intermarry with a white person. The Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia held that the statutes served the legitimate state purpose of preserving the “racial integrity” of its citizens. The State argued that because its miscegenation statutes punished both white and black participants in an interracial marriage equally, they cannot be said to constitute invidious discrimination based on race and, therefore, the statutes commanded mere rational basis review.

Issue. Was rational basis the proper standard of review by which to evaluate the constitutionality of the statutes?
Were the Virginia miscegenation statutes constitutional under the Equal Protection Clause?

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