Race, Marriage, and Sovereignty in the New World Order
Racially restrictive marriage laws lay at the intersection of state claims of domestic sovereignty and federal obligations to protect the constitutional rights of citizens. In 1948, California overturned its antimiscegenation law, citing, in addition to the Fourteenth Amendment, the United Nations Charter. This decision sparked a contentious discussion about the relationship of human rights norms to racial conventions in the United States, and triggered a debate about the peril of international law that resulted in an effort to amend the Constitution and limit the treaty-making powers of the president. Both the constitutional and the international logics of individual human rights threatened local custom and energized political opposition. American stigmatization of international human rights norms and treaties was rooted directly in the civil rights struggles in the United States and reflected the potential of international organizations to assault domestic racial conventions at their foundations.
THE BUCHMANN FACULTY OF LAW | TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY