Key Facts– Virginia had a law that prohibited interracial marriage. Loving and his wife married outside of the state and then returned to Virginia.
Procedural History– Trial court sentenced the couple to one year in jail, suspended for twenty-five years. Trial judge noted “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 marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.” Supreme Court of Appeals upheld constitutionality of the law, but modified the sentence. Supreme Court grants well-deserved certiorari.
Issue– Is a law prohibiting interracial marriage constitutional?
Result– Law overturned.
Reasoning– This violates the Equal Protection Clause. Marriage is a basic civil right. This law should not still exist in 1967, especially given that Heart of Atlanta was three years before this case (my reasoning).