Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Statutes that forbid the contracting of marriage between persons of different races are unconstitutional, 1 as are statutes that penalize interracial cohabitation. 2 Nor may a court deny custody of a child based on a parent’s remarriage to a person of another race and the presumed
best interests of the child to be free from the prejudice and stigmatization that might result. 3
Segregation in courtrooms is unlawful and may not be enforced through contempt citations for disobedience 4 or through other means. Treatment of parties to or witnesses in judicial actions based on their race is impermissible. 5 Jail inmates have a right not to be segregated by race unless there is some overriding necessity arising out of the process of keeping order. 6
Whether discrimination practiced by operators of retail selling and service establishments gave rise to a denial of constitutional rights occupied the Court’s attention considerably in the early 1960s, but it avoided finally deciding one way or the other, generally finding forbidden state action in some aspect of the situation. 9 Passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 obviated any necessity to resolve the issue. 10