Monday, March 7, 2011

Featured Case: Loving v. Virginia

In this well known case, the US Supreme Court struck down  all anti-miscegenation statutes on both Substantive Due Process and Equal Protection grounds.  My favorite quote from the case is this:

The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men [and women]. Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man[kind]," fundamental to our very existence and survival.

There is a fair amount of video material available on this case. I have chosen to post a few videos that I hope you will find useful for presenting this case in class. First, there is an original ABC news report on the case from 1967. The second is a live performance by singer/songwriter Nanci Griffith of her song, The Loving Kind, written about Midred and Richard. This clip has already appeared and disappeared from YouTube a couple of times.  So, if it is here when you read this post, and you want to use it for educational purposes, you should download it for classroom use.  The third is The Ballad of Mildred Loving. Songs about Supreme Court cases are pretty rare, but this case has inspired at least two.  The last video makes a comparison to same-sex marriage restrictions and an appeal to keep religious beliefs from impacting civil rights. There are a number of good websites with personalized stories and images as well. Three may be found here, here and herePodcast.

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