Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Forty years after

If Loving v. Virginia came before the Supreme Court today, would the court even grant certiorari? I doubt it would now, and it certainly won't if John McCain has the chance to replace Stevens and Ginsburg.

The current Supremes would rule against the Lovings on some narrow procedural grounds, maybe that the ACLU lacked standing to ask for a review in the Virginia courts that had first propounded this travesty of justice. They would say, probably 5-4, that there was no issue of law to be decided. The Lovings pleaded guilty to a felony and moved away from the scene of their crime. The fact that their "crime" was an interracial marriage would be irrelevant.

Never mind equal protection. The current Supreme Court majority could construe it to mean the opposite of its well-understood meaning.

Forty years is not such a long time. Many Southern states still had prohibitions in their constitutions against interracial marriage. Some still do, though they are null and void under the U.S. Constitution.

These two people made a difference. Her eyes say, "So be it." His show wariness. They went ahead anyway.

Image from the AP, published in both the Boston Globe and the Washington Post. Cropped and fuzzed in an attempt at fair use. Click the image for the full photo.

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