Wonder why folks on the far right hate reasonable federal judges of all political stripes? Because they strike down unconstitutional laws. The New York Times carried this obituary:
Mildred Loving, a black woman whose anger over being banished from Virginia for marrying a white man led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling overturning state miscegenation laws, died on May 2 at her home in Central Point, Va. She was 68.
Not many folks remember Mrs. Loving, but the Times provides a nice refresher course on this ugly part of our history.
By their own widely reported accounts, Mrs. Loving and her husband, Richard, were in bed in their modest house in Central Point in the early morning of July 11, 1958, five weeks after their wedding, when the county sheriff and two deputies, acting on an anonymous tip, burst into their bedroom and shined flashlights in their eyes. A threatening voice demanded, “Who is this woman you’re sleeping with?”
Mrs. Loving answered, “I’m his wife.”
Mr. Loving pointed to the couple’s marriage certificate hung on the bedroom wall. The sheriff responded, “That’s no good here."
Eventually, the case wound its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where Chief Justice Earl Warren struck down Virginia's law that prevented people of different races from being married. Virginia trial Judge Leon M. Bazile, in language Chief Justice Warren would recall, said that if God had meant for whites and blacks to mix, he would have not placed them on different continents. Judge Bazile reminded the defendants that “as long as you live you will be known as a felon.”
You will recall the race riots in Little Rock, the protests around Brown v. Board out of Topeka. The Loving case faced a similar outcry from the racists. Since those decisions, the far right wing has figured out that they only way to have unconstitutional laws upheld is to pack the federal courts at all levels.
When McCain talks about appointing judges like Scalia, what he is saying is that he is not going to appoint folks like Chief Justice Earl Warren. Warren is viewed as a turn-coat. Despite being elected as the Republican Governor of California and the Republican VP candidate in 1948, Warren did such crazy things as saying separate was not equal (Brown v. Board), that people should be told their rights (Miranda v. AZ) and that all humans are created equal and can marry people of different races (Loving).
I'm holding my breath for McBush to say he's going to appoint the next Earl Warren.