Andrew McCullough's Blog

Monday, May 05, 2008

In Memorium -- Mildred Loving, and more

May 5, 2008

It is a name known mostly by those who have studied constitutional law. Mildred Loving, a black woman from Virginia, passed away earlier today at the age of 68. She married her longtime white boyfriend in Washington, DC in 1957. At the time, she didn't really realize that such a marriage was illegal in Virginia. But, when she went back home, she found out, as she was arrested shortly thereafter. She and her husband agreed to leave Virginia and live in Washington for a period of time. Then she contacted the ACLU and told them she wanted to go home without fear of arrest. She later said she didn't want to be a hero, just a bride, and said "We are not marrying the state. The law should allow a person to marry anyone he wants." To some degree, the landmark Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia held just that. but we all know the battle is far from over. The fight to keep the State out of our bedrooms goes on; but because of Mrs. Loving, one step has been taken. For all those of us who believe there is a part of our lives beyond the control of the State, we say "thanks".

On another subject, this morning's Deseret News reports that a majority of Utahns side with our present attorney general, who says that the public's right to be safe is more important than giving a person who is listed on the State's sex offender registry a chance to be delisted. Mr. Shurtleff, why do you fear Due Process of Law? Why not allow a person to go to court eventually to show that he is not a threat to society, and have himself removed from this hideous list? If the Court deems him still a threat, he stays. but if he is not, why should he be there?

The problem is that the listing requriements keep getting more severe. A person who entered a guilty plea years ago thinking he would not be listed, or thinking he would be delisted in ten years, now finds that the legislature has increased his listing requirement to lifetime. Where is the fairness in that? What is the harm in allowing him to challenge it, and show that it is not proper in his particular case? The current attorney general claims he is just protecting children. But, from what? Why have we allowed ourselves as a nation and a society to be governed by fear? Mr. Bush has transformed our nation into one afraid of everything and everybody. Do you really want to live in fear all your life? Do you truly feel safer this way? I don't; and I only ask that common sense prevail. Those who are dangerous can be labeled so. Those who are not deserve the chance to prove it. That, really, is the American way.


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