AP WAS THERE: Supreme Court legalizes interracial marriage

Dec 7, 2022, 6:59 PM | Updated: Dec 8, 2022, 10:23 am
FILE - Mildred Loving and her husband Richard P Loving are seen on Jan. 26, 1965. (AP Photo)...

FILE - Mildred Loving and her husband Richard P Loving are seen on Jan. 26, 1965. (AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — EDITOR’S NOTE: On June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court was wrapping up the final orders for the term. Among the cases before them was that of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple who had been sentenced to a year in jail for violating Virginia’s ban on marriage between people of different races. The question posed by the Lovings’ plight was: Did Virginia’s law violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment? The justices’ unanimous conclusion was — yes, it does — and it felled not only Virginia’s law, but similar laws in 15 other states.

With the passage of the the Respect for Marriage Act, which protects same-sex and interracial marriages, The Associated Press is republishing its 1967 story by reporter Karl R. Bauman on the Supreme Court’s ruling.

____

The Supreme Court sounded the death knell Monday for state laws outlawing racially mixed marriages.

While the unanimous decision specifically applied to Virginia’s antimiscegenation law, the language of Chief Justice Earl Warren’s opinion was so sweeping as to make it clear that similar statutes of 15 other states could not stand under legal attack.

Speaking for a unanimous court, Warren said the Virginia law rests solely upon distinctions drawn according to race.

He added: “The statutes proscribe generally accepted conduct if engaged in by members of different races.”

Citing earlier decisions in racial cases, but not involving interracial marriage, Warren said the Supreme Court consistently has repudiated distinctions between citizens solely because of their ancestry as being odious to a free people whose institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality.

“The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness of free man,” Warren declared.

The Virginia case involved Richard P. Loving, a 33-year-old white construction worker, and his part-Negro, part-Indian wife, Mildred, 27. Warren said they were deprived by law “of liberty without due process of law in violation of the due process clause of the 14th Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution.

“To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the 14th Amendment, is surely to deprive all the state’s citizens of liberty without due process of law,” Warren said.

“The 14th Amendment requires the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution the freedom to marry a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the state.”

In the final day of its present term, before quitting until next Oct. 2, the court in a burst of speed handed down roughly a dozen opinions of major importance and scores of orders in other cases.

And Justice Tom C. Clark made final his retirement, an action taken to avoid any conflicts because his son, Ramsey Clark, now is attorney general.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Paul Njoroge, right, points to photos of his wife and three children that were killed in the 2019 c...
Associated Press

Boeing pleads not guilty in case over deadly Max crashes

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Boeing pleaded not guilty Thursday to a charge that it misled regulators who approved its 737 Max, the plane that was involved in two crashes that killed 346 people. Family members of passengers who died gave emotional testimony, calling for criminal prosecution of top Boeing officials. The families are trying […]
17 hours ago
abortion Capital gains tax Olympia meeting legislature abortion...
Associated Press

Washington lawmakers hear testimony on 7 abortion bills

Abortion rights proposals have been front and center in Olympia, Washington, this week as state lawmakers heard hours of public testimony on seven proposals that would reinforce abortion access.
17 hours ago
FILE - The sun dial near the Legislative Building is shown under cloudy skies, March 10, 2022, at t...
Gene Johnson, Associated Press

Justices weigh effort to balance Washington state’s tax code

SEATTLE (AP) — An effort to balance what is considered the nation’s most regressive state tax code came before the Washington Supreme Court on Thursday, with justices hearing arguments about whether they should overturn a prohibition on income taxes that dates to the 1930s. Washington is one of nine states without an income tax, and […]
17 hours ago
Brittany Lampkin of Yazoo County, extolls the Mississippi Black Women's Roundtable legislative agen...
Associated Press

Maternal deaths and disparities increase in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Deaths from pregnancy complications have become more prevalent in Mississippi, and racial disparities in the health of those who give birth have widened in recent years, according to a report released Thursday by the state’s Department of Health. The Mississippi Maternal Mortality Report shows that between 2017 and 2019, the overall […]
17 hours ago
FILE - A family gathers at a memorial outside the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, the site of a mass sh...
Associated Press

A look at California’s back-to-back mass shootings

LOS ANGELES (AP) — In the course of 48 hours, two gunmen went on shooting rampages at both ends of California that left 18 dead and 10 wounded. The unrelated massacres at a dance hall in a Los Angeles suburb on Saturday night and a pair of mushroom farms south of San Francisco on Monday […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Southern California’s Santa Ana winds topple trees, big rigs

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Powerful Santa Ana winds tore across Southern California on Thursday — topping 100 mph, (160 kph) in parts — blowing over multiple big rigs on several highways and toppling massive 80-to-100 foot-tall trees, including in San Diego’s iconic Balboa Park where a woman was briefly pinned by a eucalyptus. Gusts hit […]
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
AP WAS THERE: Supreme Court legalizes interracial marriage