Thursday, June 05, 2008

Those Damn Activist Judges!

Anti-miscegenation laws - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Loving v. Virginia

The plaintiffs in Loving v. Virginia, Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving

All bans on interracial marriage were lifted only after an interracial couple from Virginia, Richard and Mildred Loving, began a legal battle in 1963 for the repeal of the anti-miscegenation law which prevented them from living as a couple in their home state of Virginia. The Lovings were supported by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Japanese American Citizens League and a coalition of Catholic bishops.

In 1958, Richard and Mildred Loving had married in Washington, D.C. to evade Virginia's anti-miscegenation law (the Racial Integrity Act). Having returned to Virginia, they were arrested in their bedroom for living together as an interracial couple. The judge suspended their sentence on the condition that the Lovings would leave Virginia and not return for 25 years. In 1963, the Lovings, who had moved to Washington, D.C, decided to appeal this judgment. In 1965, Virginia trial court Judge Leon Bazile, who heard their original case, refused to reconsider his decision. Instead, he defended racial segregation, writing:

Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, 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.[16]

The Lovings then took their case to the Supreme Court of Virginia, which invalidated the original sentence but upheld the state's Racial Integrity Act. Finally, the Lovings turned to the U.S Supreme Court. The court, which had previously avoided taking miscegenation cases, agreed to hear an appeal. In 1967, 84 years after Pace v. Alabama in 1883, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Loving v. Virginia that:

Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not to marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.

Sound familiar?

5 comments:

Intellectual Insurgent said...

That decision was wrongly reasoned. It's not a 14th Amendment matter. It is a 1st Amendment matter. There should be no interference with the practice of religion and state laws deciding who can and cannot marry are such an interference.

In any event, I don't really understand why homosexuals want to get married and validate one of the most religious of religious rituals.

RR said...

"Marriage" is simply the common term for the civil process of declaring a contract by which the state give you a slew of privileges and responsibilities.

Most homo's realize they can get "married" in a church ceremony anywhere they like (since the practice of religion isn't restricted) ... however, only a couple states recognize those religious ceremonies and give the couple a civil marriage license "at the same time" ...

So what they want are the same rights/privileges afforded str8 couples... The fact that this usually comes via a religious ceremony is incidental.

Intellectual Insurgent said...

"Marriage" is simply the common term for the civil process of declaring a contract by which the state give you a slew of privileges and responsibilities.

This is the flaw. I think the solution is to end the civil aspect of marriage. Not to demand further intrusion on religious rites.

RR said...

Sure -- keep marriage and the civil contract separate...

I agree...

skip sievert said...

The court system is a scam system... Mostly set up to preserve special interests.

We would be better off without a judicial system as we know it... and go to a system of trained experts ... that do not rely on bullshit .. belief stuff. Opinions rule our system.. and not very good ones.