2009 Press Releases

10.15.2009: ACLU Demands Investigation of Justice of Peace for Refusal to Perform Interracial Marriages

In the wake of media revelations that Keith Bardwell, Justice of the Peace for Tangipahoa Parish's 8th Ward, had denied a Hammond couple a marriage license on the basis of their race, the ACLU of Louisiana has written to the Louisiana Judicial Commission to call for an official investigation.

ACLU Legal Director Katie Schwartzmann, in comments to the Associated Press this afternoon, said, "It is really astonishing and disappointing at any time, but especially in 2009. The Supreme Court ruled as far back as 1963 that the government cannot tell people who they can and cannot marry on the basis of race."

A copy of the letter may be found by clicking here.