Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Loving v. Virginia case brief

Loving v. Virginia case brief summary
388 U.S. 1 (1967)

SYNOPSIS: Appellants, a husband and his wife, sought review of a judgment from the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia which held that Va. Code Ann. §§ 20-58 and 20-59, which were adopted by to prevent marriages between persons solely on the basis of racial classifications, did not violate the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of U.S. Const. amend. XIV.

-Appellants were indicted on charges of violating the state's ban on interracial marriages.
-After their conviction, appellants took up residence out-of-state and instituted a class action requesting that Va. Code Ann. §§ 20-58 and 20-59, the state antimiscegenation statutes, be declared unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the appellate court, which had affirmed appellants' convictions and had upheld the constitutionality of the statutes.

The Court rejected the notion that the mere "equal application" of a statute containing racial classifications was enough to remove the classification from the U.S. Const. amend. XIV's proscription of all invidious racial discriminations and held there was no legitimate overriding purpose which justified the classification. The Court found that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violated the central meaning of the Equal Protection Clause and deprived appellants of liberty without due process of law in violation of the Due Process Clause of U.S. Const. amend. XIV.

OUTCOME: The Court reversed the judgment.

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