03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Senator Vitter on Video: I Don't Know if Loving Was Correctly Decided

Vitter graduated Tulane Law School in 1988. Loving v. Virginia, decided in 1967, was a unanimous Supreme Court decision that declared state anti-miscegenation (interracial marriage) laws unconstitutional. It is one of the bedrock civil rights cases, right up there with Brown. It is simply not credible for any lawyer to claim ignorance when asked about Loving.

Anyway, this question did not come out of the blue. Several weeks ago, I invited Senator Vitter to condemn the racist Lousiana judge that refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple. Vitter passed, simply smiling at me as the elevator doors closed on him.

When other reporters asked about it, his press shop put out a statement:

First, Sen. Vitter thinks that all judges should follow the law as written and not make it up as they go along. Second, it would be amazing for anyone to do a story based on this fringe, left-wing political hack's blog -- he's been handcuffed and detained in the past over his guerrilla tactics."

Still not one word of criticism for the racist judge! (And yes, the latter half of the quote referred to yours truly, but that's another story for another day. For now, just note the absence of the word "arrested".)

So I decided to concentrate on the first half of the question. I emailed Vitter's Press Secretary and asked if Vitter believed Loving had been decided correctly or if it was a case of unwarranted judicial activism. I let them know that if they sent me back a clarification, I wouldn't have to ask the Senator on camera. Of course, if I did see the Senator before I received their statement, hopefully he would be prepared to answer the question.

Almost a month had passed when I ran into the Senator yesterday.

Here is the result:

When you see train-wrecks like this, I think it is only natural to look for some sort of explanation. Well, I think I may have found one. In the next video, shot from outside Vitter's office, look closely at what is on the television:

More from