Decision to destroy Roe threatens legal right to interracial marriage, experts warn


The legal right not only to same-sex marriage, but also to interracial marriage—which goes back even further in American history—is now under threat with the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade and his profound upheaval of decades of basic rights, experts warn.

Vice President Kamala Harris, whose own marriage is interracial, said Friday the decision “challenges other rights we thought were settled, such as the right to use birth control, the right to same-sex marriage , the right to mixed marriage.”

The possibility of the loss of the right to marry someone of another race was raised ominously when Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) said in March that such a right should be left to the states ( like abortion is now). Following a backlash, he backtracked on his statement, saying he misunderstood the question. Such a ruling would mean that a legally married interracial couple in one state could be arrested while visiting another.

The Supreme Court’s decision on Friday compared the Roe decision to cases such as Obergefell v. Hodges, which guaranteed the right to equal marriage; loving v. Virginia, which protected interracial marriage; Griswold v. Connecticut, which established the right for married couples to use contraception; and Lawrence v. Texas, which prohibited states from prohibiting same-sex sexual relations.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas suggested in a concurring solo opinion Friday that the court should reconsider other rights protected by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.

“We should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence and Obergefell,” Thomas wrote. “Because any substantive due process ruling is ‘demonstrably wrong’, we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in these precedents.”

Thomas avoided the Loving case, which, if overturned like Roe was, could threaten his own interracial marriage. That doesn’t mean other judges wouldn’t reject the protections, despite any protests they might make. Some of the judges had previously said they believed Roe v. Wade was established law.

Ultimately, “what we’re seeing today is that there’s very little that’s sacred in terms of privacy,” said Michele Goodwin, a constitutional law professor at the University of California, Irvine. , to Insider.

Goodwin sees the decision and Thomas’ comments as a whistle for the States.

“The Supreme Court does not have to engage in dismantling protections for interracial marriage. By sending the signal with Roe and by Judge Thomas underlying that signal, it is now left to the county clerks,” she warned.

June 12 marked the 55th anniversary of the historic Loving Decision, which legalized interracial marriage across the United States. A podcast from the American Civil Liberties Union warned in March, after Judge Samuel Alito published a draft Roe opinion, that the “same legal reasoning” could be used to overthrow Aimer.

“To those who say Loving v. Virginia will never be overturned, be careful and vigilant,” warned ACLU podcast host Kendall Ciesemier. “The United States has a long history of criminalization, surveillance and control of black and brown families and the mixing of races.”

Based on the decision overturning Roe, it’s hard not to worry that other rights will be “subject to the same kind of judicial scrutiny and dismantling, like access to contraception, like same-sex marriage, like the interracial marriage,” warned Goodwin, who was a guest on the podcast.

Learn more about the Supreme Court decision on abortion:


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