Previous to Loving v. Virginia, there were several cases on the subject of miscegenation. In Pace v. Alabama (1883), the Supreme Court made a ruling that the conviction of an Alabama couple for interracial sex, confirmed on the plea by the Alabama Supreme Court, did not disrupt the Fourteenth Amendment. Interracial marital sex was considered a felony, whereas adulterous sex ("infidelity or fornication") was just a misdemeanor. On plea, the United States Supreme Court made a ruling that the illegalization of interracial sex was not a defilement of the equal protection clause since whites and non-whites were penalized in equivalent amount for the wrongdoing of involving in interracial sex. The court did not see the need to sustain the constitutionality of the prohibition on interracial marriage that was likewise part of Alabama's anti-miscegenation law. After Pace v. Alabama, the constitutionality of anti-miscegenation laws that were a ban on marriage and sex among whites and non-whites had stayed unopposed until the 1920s and this paper discusses its opposition after the loving vs. Virginia case gave it that push.
Anti-Miscegenation Statutes in the United States
The term miscegenation derives from two Latin words -- -misere, and they both mean "mix," and genus, for "race." Anti-miscegenation laws back in the day forbade interracial marriage. These rules had been a part of the American legal backdrop during the 1600's, long way Francis Galton's new "science," eugenics, journeyed throughout the Atlantic Ocean from Great Britain in the late 1800's. A lot of these regulations, nevertheless, had been re-written in the early days of the 20th century, founded on the new "scientific" data and theories of the American eugenics crusade. One of the most significant laws that were made during this period was Virginia's Racial Integrity Act of 1924. The word miscegenation comes from two Latin words -- -misere, which means "mix," and genus, for "race." Anti-miscegenation laws forbade interracial marriage. These laws were part of the American legal landscape as early as the 1600's, long before Francis Galton's new "science," eugenics, traveled across the Atlantic Ocean from England in the late 1800's. Many of these laws, however, were re-written in the early years of the 20th century, based on the new "scientific" theories and data of the American eugenics movement. One of the most influential laws created during this period was Virginia's Racial Integrity Act of 1924. With that said, this paper will Compare and contrast the Loving v. Virginia case and the Pace vs. Alabama in regards to the Anti-Miscegenation Statutes.
Loving vs. Virginia
On July 11, 1958 a just a few minutes after midnight, Richard Loving who was a white man and his wife Mildred Loving an African-American woman were woke up to the company of three police officers that were standing in their bedroom. One of the three officers required from Richard to recognize the woman in the bed with him. Mildred, full of dread, told the officers that they were married, while Richard showed them the marriage license hanging on the wall. The couple was then accused and next found guilty in infringement of the state's anti-miscegenation decree. On January 6, 1969, the Lovings admitted that they were guilty and were then charged to go to jail for a year. However, the verdict could be done away with if the couple got out of the state of Virginia and did not ever come back together for twenty-five years. The judge during the stated in his opinion, that:
"The God Almighty had made the races black, white, yellow and red, and he the put them on unconnected continents. And but for the meddling with his procedure there would be no point for having such marriages. The idea that he put the races separate shows that he did not mean for the races to mingle." With no other choice, the couple then moved back to the District of Columbia in Washington D.C. To stay with each other. They soon started a suit in 1963 opposing the constitutionality of the anti-miscegenation law. They both believed that the statues, which they had desecrated, were offensive to the Fourteenth Amendment. Nevertheless, the states felt that the connotation of the equivalent Protection Clause is merely that state penal law that…