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On October 28, 1964, after waiting almost a year for a response to their motion, the ACLU attorneys brought a class action suit in the U. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

In 1964, frustrated by their inability to travel together to visit their families in Virginia, as well as their social isolation and financial difficulties in Washington, Mildred Loving wrote in protest to Attorney General Robert F. The ACLU assigned volunteer cooperating attorneys Bernard S. Hirschkop, who filed a motion on behalf of the Lovings in the Virginia Caroline County Circuit Court, that requested the court to vacate the criminal judgments and set aside the Lovings' sentences on the grounds that the Virginia miscegenation statutes ran counter to the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.

Carrico cited as authority the Virginia Supreme Court's decision in Naim v.

Naim (1955) and argued that the Lovings' case was not a violation of the Equal Protection Clause because both the white and the non-white spouse were punished equally for the crime of miscegenation, an argument similar to that made by the United States Supreme Court in 1883 in Pace v. The Lovings, still supported by the ACLU, appealed the decision to the United States Supreme Court, where Virginia was represented by Robert Mc Ilwaine of the state's attorney general's office.

Their marriage violated the state's anti-miscegenation statute, the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which prohibited marriage between people classified as "white" and people classified as "colored".

The case was brought by Mildred Loving (née Jeter), a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, who had been sentenced to a year in prison in Virginia for marrying each other.

On January 22, 1965, a three-judge district court panel postponed decision on the federal class-action case while the Lovings appealed Judge Bazile's decision on constitutional grounds to the Virginia Supreme Court. Carrico (later Chief Justice of the Court) wrote an opinion for the court upholding the constitutionality of the anti-miscegenation statutes.

While he upheld their criminal convictions, he directed that their sentence be modified.

In June 1958, the couple traveled to Washington, D. to marry, thereby evading Virginia's Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which made marriage between whites and non-whites a crime.