20 Jul 2022


Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure

Format: Other

Academic level: College

Paper type: Research Paper

Words: 597

Pages: 2

Downloads: 0


Mildred Loving who was a woman of color and Richard Loving who was a white man where sentenced for a year in prison for marriage. The two were sentenced in accordance to the violation of the Virginia state law that prohibited interracial marriages, hence known as Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924. The State Act criminalized marriage based on racial classifications referred to as ‘white’ people and ‘colored’ people. After being convicted for an year’s imprisonment Mildred appealed to the state Supreme Court of Virginia. The court upheld the state court’s ruling and so Mildred and Richard Loving appealed to the United States Supreme Court. They appealed under the context of the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the 14 th Amendment of the United States constitution. 

Issue Statement 

The issue in this case is whether the State of Virginia was within the law to convict the plaintiffs for interracial marriage. This therefore brings forth the issue of whether the Virginia Racial Integrity Act of 1924 was lawful according to the United States Constitution, especially under the 14 th Amendment. Is equal protection therefore implied in the Virginia Racial Integrity Act in the conviction of the plaintiff’s case in accordance to the United States Constitution. 

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Rule of Law 

The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Mildred and Richard Loving, which entailed overturning of their convictions in a unanimous decision. The decision was arrived at based on the violation of the Equal Protection clause. Even though the Virginia State an argument of non-discrimination as a violation of the Equal Protection clause, it was established in the United States Supreme court that the basis of the of the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 was drawn from racial distinction given that marriage is a lawful act. 

The court’s ruling also established the constitutionally protected fundamental liberty to marry. The act of the Virginia State government to deny this on the basis of color was therefore a violation of the Due Process Clause. 

The ruling by the United States Supreme Court on the case of Mildred Loving v. the State of Virginia was a landmark decision that led to the abolishment of any state laws that banned interracial marriages within the United States. 

The 14 th Amendment of the United States constitution has clauses that include equal protection clause and due processes clause which the Virginia Racial Integrity Act of 1924 violated. The prohibition of marriage based on racial distinctions is a clear violation of the equal rights clause of the 14 th Amendment. This is why I agree with the United State’s Supreme Court ruling. 


The ruling of this case can be applied to the case of Brenda against the state of Xanadu based on the similarity in both cases in terms of the violation of the 14 th Amendment. The State of Xanadu’s passed law that states, "All people are welcome at all state run swimming, beach, and golf facilities, as long as they are white. Non-whites may not use any of those facilities" is in violation of the 14 th Amendment on the Equal Protection Clause. It compares directly to the Virginia Racial Integrity Act of 1924 which prevented marriage based on racial grounds. 

The State of Xanadu’s later passed a law that states, "Because we don't believe that we are capable of managing integrated swimming, beach, and golf facilities, we are hereby closing all such state-run facilities" which they argued non-discrimination. That law however, is still under violation of the 14 th Amendment of the Due Process Clause since there remains an underlying implication of discrimination against non-whites. This also compares the Virginia State’s counter argument that the punishment applies to both races. 

Therefore the court’s ruling in this case should be an overruling of the Xanadu State law. The court should strike down this State law on the basis of violation of the 14 th Amendment under the equal protection and due process clause. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure.


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