Their marriage would have been illegal in the state of Virginia and all across the former Confederacy had it not been for the unanimous 1967 Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia . An example of “judicial activism” that is on the table for these Federalist Society Six to overrule at last.
What harm could come from giving states back the authority to imprision citizens for race crimes, as the Framers arguably intended?
The case involved Mildred Loving, a woman of color,[note 1] and her white husband Richard Loving, who in 1958 were sentenced to a year in prison for marrying each other. Their marriage violated Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which criminalized marriage between people classified as “white” and people classified as “colored“. The Lovings appealed their conviction to the Supreme Court of Virginia, which upheld it. They then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed to hear their case.
On June 12, 1967, the Court issued a unanimous decision in the Lovings’ favor and overturned their convictions. Its decision struck down Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law and ended all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States. Virginia had argued that its law was not a violation of the Equal Protection Clause because the punishment was the same regardless of the offender’s race, and thus it “equally burdened” both whites and non-whites.