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Loving v. Virginia

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

The Petitioners, Mr. and Mrs. Loving (Petitioner), are a married interracial couple. They returned to Virginia after marrying in Washington, D.C. and were convicted of violating a state statute prohibiting mixed marriages.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

Racial classification is treated the same as racial discrimination. It must the strict scrutiny test or in other words be necessary to further a compelling state interest.


Mildred Jeter, a black woman and Richard Loving, a white male, were both residents of Virginia. They were married in Washington, D.C. in 1958 and returned to their home in Virginia. In the fall of that year, they were indicted for violating the state law against interracial marriages and later sentenced to one year in jail. But the trial judge suspended the sentence for 25 years, if they would leave the state and never return as a couple.


Does the statute adopted by Respondent, the state of Virginia (Respondent), to prevent interracial marriages violate the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution (Constitution)?


Yes. Restricting the freedom to marry based solely on racial classifications violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. The justification provided by the state is an obvious endorsement of the doctrine of White Supremacy and is impermissible.


The Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) decidedly rejects the notion that because this law was equally applied to the white husband as the black wife it is not discriminatory. The purpose of the law is clearly stated as to preserve the integrity of the white race especially since it does not prohibit interracial marriages between any of the other races.

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