Pace v. Alabama

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Pace v. Alabama
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued January 16, 1883
Decided January 29, 1883
Full case name Pace v. State of Alabama
Citations 106 U.S. 583 (more)
1 S. Ct. 637; 27 L. Ed. 207; 16 Otto 583
Prior history Defendants convicted, 5 Circuit Court, 1881; sentenced each to two years in the state penitentiary; affirmed, Alabama Supreme Court (69 Ala 231, 233 (1882))
Holding
The court affirmed the conviction of the plaintiff and declared Alabama's anti-miscegenation statute constitutional.
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Field, joined by unanimous
Laws applied
U.S Const. amend XIV; Ala. code 4184, 4189
Overruled by
McLaughlin v. Florida, 379 U.S. 184 (1964)

Pace v. Alabama, 106 U.S. 583 (1883), was a case in which the United States Supreme Court affirmed that Alabama's anti-miscegenation statute was constitutional. This ruling was overturned by the Supreme Court in 1964 in McLaughlin v. Florida and in 1967 in Loving v. Virginia.

Facts[edit]

The plaintiff, Tony Pace, an African-American man, and Mary Cox, a white woman, were residents of the state of Alabama, who had been arrested in 1881 because their sexual relationship violated the state's anti-miscegenation statute. They were charged with living together "in a state of adultery or fornication" and both sentenced to two years imprisonment in the state penitentiary in 1882. Because "miscegenation," that is marriage, cohabitation and sexual relations between whites and "negroes," was prohibited by Alabama's anti-miscegenation statute (Ala. code 4189), it would have been illegal for the couple to marry in Alabama. Because of the criminalization of interracial relationships, they were penalized more severely for their extramarital relationship than a white or a black couple would have been.

Footnotes[edit]