Law, History & Politics: Loving v. Virginia and Obergefell v. Hodges

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We'll continue our discussion in this new series -- LAW, HISTORY AND POLITICS.

The LHP series explore the intersections of its namesake -- an in-depth study of a particular law, court decision, or a legal precedent that shaped the political forces and its historical ramifications.

The LHP series will start out with subject matters that directly relate to the U.S. For instance, we'll discuss landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions, particular Constitutional Amendments, or an influential Legislative body of work.

The advanced LHP series will explore international and comparative law from a historic perspective. These may include: Magna Carta, the Code of Justinian, the Code of Hammurabi -- to more recent selections, such as the Treaty of Versailles, the U.N. Declaration on Human Rights and the Geneva Convention.


For this meeting, we'll read a pair of marriage cases:

1) Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967)

This 1967 unanimous ruling struck down state laws that banned interracial marriage (i.e, the "anti-miscegenation" laws). This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Loving decision.

Supplemental references (OPTIONAL):

The original Caroline County Court decision

The Racial Integrity Act of 1924:


2) Obergefell v. Hodges 135 S.Ct. 2071 (2015)

Although the Obergefell decision is fairly a recent ruling by the Court, we'll couple a reading of both marriage cases, in tandem, to discuss the evolution of marriage equality in the U.S.


Here's a sound track for this discussion:


Previous LHP series:

• Brown v. Board of Ed. (Sept. 2017):

• The Chinese Exclusion Act and Korematsu v. U.S. (July 2017):

• Plessy v. Ferguson, (April 2017) -- a reading and critical discussion of the "Separate But Equal" doctrine:

• Federalist Papers Nos. 2 and 68, and the Dred Scott Decision (Feb. 2017):