Loving v. Virginia

(1967)

In 1967 in Loving v. Virginia, Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote on behalf of a unanimous Supreme Court to declare antimiscegenation laws in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Laws against interracial marriage were widespread in the United States into the 1960s. An interracial couple from Virginia, wanting to be “Mr. and Mrs. Richard Loving,” found themselves taken to jail in 1958 and then to court because he was white and she was not. They were convicted of the crime of marrying each other, but eventually they appealed their convictions, and the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court. There, the Fourteenth Amendment, which had been in the Constitution for almost exactly a century, was for the first time interpreted to declare unconstitutional all state laws against interracial marriage. As a result, more than three hundred years after the first of such laws was passed, none could any longer be enforced. States retained their authority over the law...

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Civil War–era satire of a "Miscegenation Ball" (Library of Congress)

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