Friday, October 24th, 2014

Truth-O-Meter checks claims on interracial marriage, emergency schools repairs

Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver speaks at a Jan. 9 news conference about same-sex marriage.

The Truth-O-Meter this weekend checked claims on the legality of interracial marriage in the United States and the frequency of emergency school repairs in New Jersey.

In case you missed it, the Truth-O-Meter handed down a Mostly True rating Sunday to the marriage claim made by Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex) and a False rating Monday to a claim by David Sciarra, executive director of the New Jersey Education Law Center, about school repairs.

Oliver claim

In talking about Democrat plans this year to legalize same-sex marriage in New Jersey, Oliver noted during a press conference that in 1958, 16 U.S. states prohibited marriage between blacks and whites. She told the story of an interracial couple forced to leave Virginia in the 1950s or face jail time for being married. The U.S. Supreme Court eventually heard the couple’s case and ruled that statutes banning interracial marriage were unconstitutional. PolitiFact New Jersey found that the actual number of states banning interracial marriage in 1958 was 24, not 16, earning Oliver a Mostly True rating.

Sciarra claim

The New Jersey Schools Development Authority has done "nothing" in making emergency repairs at a number of schools during the past two years, Sciarra said during Jan. 5 testimony before the state Assembly Budget Committee. PolitiFact New Jersey found that the SDA has substantially completed projects at schools in Newark and Camden during the past two years, even though hundreds of other proposed emergency repairs still await approval. But since Sciarra said "nothing" had been done, the Truth-O-Meter rated his claim False.

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What’s ahead

In coming weeks we will introduce a free email newsletter for readers to learn more about claims that we’re working on and what’s ahead, as well as spotlighting reader feedback. If you’re interested in receiving the newsletter, submitting an idea for a possible fact-check or having PolitiFact New Jersey do a presentation for your organization or school, drop a note to PolitiFact New Jersey Editor Caryn Shinske at cshinske@starledger.com. You can also follow us on Twitter @PolitiFactNJ or find us on Facebook.