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Attorney in landmark case remembers representing the Lovings, a Caroline County interracial couple
A plaque and quill memorialize Cohen's appearance before the United States Supreme Court, where he successfully argued against Virginia's law barring interracial marriage.
MIKE MORONES/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Interracial marriages now make up about 3 percent of all unions in America, according to the latest census numbers. Almost 1.7 million couples classified themselves as interracial in 2002, nearly three times as many as in 1980.
"April 10  was one of the signal events of my life," Cohen said. "And it was the only time I've ever argued a case before the Supreme Court."
Cohen and his wife, Rae Rose, moved to Spotsylvania County in May 2006. He has a son, Bennett, a daughter, Karen, and three grandchildren.
Hirschkop, now 70, went on to lead the fight for a number of liberal causes, including animal rights and freedom of speech for American Nazis and Vietnam War protesters. He and Cohen split their partnership in 1972, but continued to work in law firms only three blocks apart. He retired in 2006.
Mildred Loving, now 67, lives quietly in Milford in Caroline County, some 20 miles from Cohen's Fawn Lake residence. He keeps in touch with her by phone and talked to her as recently as late May.
She declined to be interviewed for this story, citing health issues.
Richard Loving died in 1975 at age 41 in an auto accident.
Bazile died at age 76 in March 1967, three months before the Supreme Court overruled him in the Loving case.
"What the Lovings did was never a crime." Cohen said. "If you ask me, the crime was the passage of the statute."Hugh Muir: 540/735-1975