The Law: Anti-Miscegenation Statutes: Repugnant Indeed

Judge Leon Bazile looked down at Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter Loving as they stood before him in 1959 in the Caroline County, Va. courtroom. "Almighty God," he intoned, "created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix." With that, Judge Bazile sentenced the newlywed Lovings to one year in jail. Their crime: Mildred is part Negro, part Indian, and Richard is white.

In Virginia, as in 15 other...