Monday, June 11, 2007

40-Year anniversary of Loving v. Virginia

This article has a nice profile and update on Mildred Loving on the 40-year anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that ended Virginia's racially based restrictions on marriage. The case arose in Caroline County. The Lovings had been jailed after being married in DC. The sheriff at the time, still today "vividly recalls bursting into the Lovings' home at 2 a.m., rousing the couple out of their sleep and hauling them off to face the law." The couple pled guilty and avoided jail by agreeing to a sentence that required "both accused leave Caroline County and the state of Virginia at once, and do not return together or at the same time to said county and state for a period of 25 years." After their victory in the Supreme Court, the Lovings became a symbol to mixed couples but that was not Mrs. Loving's intention: "It wasn't my doing. It was God's work." Tragically, Mr. Loving was killed by a drunk driver only 8 years after the Supreme Court decision. Mrs. Loving never remarried. Sometimes we forget that many Supreme Court cases are about real people and their problems, not causes or issues. These articles remind us of that fact.