The Statutes Pave V. Alabama & Loving V. Virginia Essay

1371 Words May 13th, 2012 6 Pages
Assignment 2: The Statutes- Pace v. Alabama & Loving v. Virginia

Ashlee R. Hall

PAD 525: Constitution & Administrative Law
Dr. Lee
January 29, 2012

Was there ever a period in history where interracial marriages and sex among people of different races was considered illegal? As absurd as this idea sounds, the answer is yes. Astonishingly, less than 40 years ago marrying someone of a different race was considered illegal. Black people could not be with white people- it just couldn’t happen. These statutes date back to colonial times, around the 1600s, which at this time helped to maintain the racial caste system and expand slavery. Two particular landmark cases convey the importance of Anti-Miscegenation Statutes
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At this point a grand jury issued an indictment on the couple for violating Virginia’s ban on interracial marriages. On January 6th, the Lovings pleaded guilty to the charge, and were sentenced to one year in jail; however, the trial judge suspended the sentence for a period of 25 years on the condition that the Lovings leave the State of Virginia and not return to Virginia together for 25 years (http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0388_0001_ZO.html). After their convictions, the Lovings took up residence in the District of Columbia. On November 6, 1963, they filed a motion in the state trial court to vacate the judgment and set aside the sentence on the ground that the statutes which they had violated were repugnant to the Fourteenth Amendment. The motion not having been decided by October 28, 1964, the Lovings instituted a class action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia requesting that a three-judge court be convened to declare the Virginia anti-miscegenation statutes unconstitutional and to enjoin state officials from enforcing their convictions. On January 22, 1965, the state trial judge denied the motion to vacate the sentences, and the Lovings perfected an appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia. On February 11, 1965, the three-judge District Court continued the case to allow the Lovings to present their constitutional claims to the highest state court

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