In McVeigh v. United States, decided in 1871, the U.S. Supreme Court declares—in defiance of a decision by the federal judge John C. Underwood—that court proceedings under the Second Confiscation Act (1862) must establish that the owner of property about to be condemned by the U.S. government supported the Confederacy during the American Civil War (1861–1865). A judge could not declare that as fact beforehand.
In Loving v. Virginia, decided on June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rules that Virginia’s antimiscegenation statutes violate the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment. The decision effectively overturns the bans on interracial marriage in sixteen states.
In Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections, decided on March 24, 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court finds poll taxes to be in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Building on the Twenty-fourth Amendment, ratified in 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the decision lifted the last major barrier for African American voters.
In Ex Parte State of Virginia, decided on March 1, 1880, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that Congress has the authority to prevent a Danville judge from excluding African American men from serving on juries, citing as precedent the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
In these excerpts from a transcript of oral arguments in Loving v. Virginia, presented to the U.S. Supreme Court on April 10, 1967, Bernard S. Cohen and Philip J. Hirschkop speak for the appellants and Assistant Attorney General R. D. McIlwaine III for the state of Virginia. At issue is whether Virginia’s ban on interracial marriages is constitutional.
In Davis v. Crouch, a ruling delivered on January 1, 1876, the U.S. Supreme Court declines to assert jurisdiction in a case involving the estate of the Richmond slave trader Hector Davis. The decision was written by Chief Justice Morrison Waite, of Ohio.
In Buck v. Bell, decided on May 2, 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds a Virginia order to sterilize Carrie Buck and the Virginia law that authorized it. The opinion is written by Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.