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Cohen, conveyed the message he had been given by Richard Loving: "Mr.
On the one hand, a person's reputation as black or white was usually decisive in practical matters.
On January 6, 1959, the Lovings pled guilty to "cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth." They were sentenced to one year in prison, with the sentence suspended on condition that the couple leave Virginia and not return together for at least 25 years.
After their conviction, the couple moved to the District of Columbia.
Defendants convicted, Caroline County Circuit Court (January 6, 1959); motion to vacate judgment denied, Caroline County Circuit Court (January 22, 1959); affirmed in part, reversed and remanded, 147 S. The Supreme Court's unanimous decision determined that this prohibition was unconstitutional, overruling Pace v.
Their marriage violated the state's anti-miscegenation statute, the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which prohibited marriage between people classified as "white" and people classified as "colored".
This prompted the county court judge in the case, Leon M.
Bazile, to issue a ruling on the long-pending motion to vacate.
However, upon her arrest, the police report identifies her as "Indian." She said in a 2004 interview, "I am not black." A factor contributing to the confusion is that it was seen at the time of her arrest as advantageous to be "anything but black." At the age of 18, Mildred became pregnant.
In June 1958, the couple traveled to Washington, D. to marry, thereby evading Virginia's Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which made marriage between whites and non-whites a crime.
In 1964, frustrated by their inability to travel together to visit their families in Virginia, as well as their social isolation and financial difficulties in Washington, Mildred Loving wrote in protest to Attorney General Robert F. The ACLU assigned volunteer cooperating attorneys Bernard S. Hirschkop, who filed a motion on behalf of the Lovings in the Virginia Caroline County Circuit Court, that requested the court to vacate the criminal judgments and set aside the Lovings' sentences on the grounds that the Virginia miscegenation statutes ran counter to the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.
On October 28, 1964, after waiting almost a year for a response to their motion, the ACLU attorneys brought a class action suit in the U. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
The case was brought by Mildred Loving (née Jeter), a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, who had been sentenced to a year in prison in Virginia for marrying each other.