McLaughlin v. Florida


McLaughlin v. Florida  (1964) 
Syllabus

McLaughlin v. Florida 379 U.S. 184 (1964), was a case in which the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a cohabitation law of Florida, part of the state's anti-miscegenation laws, was unconstitutional. The law prohibited habitual cohabitation by two unmarried people of opposite sex, if one is black, and the other, white. The court thereby overturned Pace v. Alabama (1883), which had declared such statutes constitutional. It did not however, overturn the related Florida statute which prohibited interracial marriage between whites and blacks. These laws were declared unconstitutional in 1967 in Loving v. Virginia.

Court Documents
Concurring Opinions
Harlan
Stewart

United States Supreme Court

379 U.S. 184

McLaughlin  v.  Florida

Appeal from the Supreme Court of Florida

No. 11  Argued: October 13 and 14, 1964 --- Decided: December 7, 1964

153 So.2d 1, reversed.

William T. Coleman, Jr., and Louis H. Pollak argued the cause for appellants. With him on the briefs were Jack Greenberg and James M. Nabrit III.

James G. Mahorner, Assistant Attorney General of Florida, argued the cause for appellee. With him on the brief was James W. Kynes, Attorney General of Florida.

A Florida criminal statute prohibits an unmarried interracial couple from habitually living in and occupying the same room in the nighttime. No other Florida statute penalizes precisely the same conduct when engaged in by members of the same race. Held: The Florida statute denies the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment and is invalid. Pp. 184-196.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).