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Mildred Loving, R.I.P.:

The woman who challenged Virginia's anti-miscegenation law, resulting in the most appropriately named case in Supreme Court history (Loving v. Virginia), died Friday. Story here.

Alex Blackwell (mail):
Coincidentally, the May 2008 issue of Fordham Law Review will have several articles on the Loving case.
5.5.2008 2:35pm
eck:
Another SCOTUS "aptonym" (as Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post calls them) is this:

"The alleged fraud was a common and straightforward one. [Petitioner] purchased used cars, rolled back their odometers, and then sold the automobiles to Wisconsin retail dealers for prices artificially inflated because of the low-mileage readings." Schmuck v. United States, 489 U.S. 705 (1989).
5.5.2008 3:06pm
JoshL (mail):

Another SCOTUS "aptonym" (as Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post calls them) is this:

"The alleged fraud was a common and straightforward one. [Petitioner] purchased used cars, rolled back their odometers, and then sold the automobiles to Wisconsin retail dealers for prices artificially inflated because of the low-mileage readings." Schmuck v. United States, 489 U.S. 705 (1989).


I thought of this one too. It's mentioned in EV's article on the use of Yiddish in court decisions.
5.5.2008 3:41pm
Cornellian (mail):
I like the one about one of those "income tax is unconstitutional" guys who refused to file tax returns, United States v. Cheek. Would have been even better had he been named "Chutzpah" but I'll settle for Cheek.
5.5.2008 4:40pm
Cornellian (mail):
It continues to amaze me that the despicable treatment inflicted on Mr. and Mrs. Loving occurred well within the lifetime of many people alive today.

Some choice quotes from the linked story (emphasis added)

Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving met as children in Caroline County and later fell in love. They married in Washington on June 2, 1958, and then returned home to Central Point [Virginia].

Six weeks later, sheriff's deputies showed up in the middle of the night and arrested the couple, charging them with violating Virginia's Racial Integrity Act of 1924.

They were sentenced to one year in jail, but Caroline Circuit Judge Leon M. Bazile suspended the sentence as long as the Lovings left Virginia and agreed not to come back for 25 years.
5.5.2008 4:48pm
Jay Cole:
"Another SCOTUS "aptonym" (as Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post calls them) is this:"

I always liked Land v. Dollar, 330 US 731:

"We say the foregoing cases are distinguishable from the present one, though as a matter of logic it is not easy to reconcile all of them. But the rule is based on practical considerations reflected in the policy which forbids suits against the sovereign without its consent. The "essential nature and effect of the proceeding" may be such as to make plain that the judgment sought would expend itself on the public treasury or domain, or interfere with the public administration. Ex parte New York, 256 U. S. 490, 256 U. S. 500, 256 U. S. 502. If so, the suit is one against the sovereign. Mine Safety Co. v. Forrestal, supra, p. 326 U. S. 374. But public officials may become tortfeasors by exceeding the limits of their authority. And where they unlawfully seize or hold a citizen's realty or chattels, recoverable by appropriate action at law or in equity, he is not relegated to the Court of Claims to recover a money judgment. The dominant interest of the sovereign is then on the side of the victim, who may bring his possessory action to reclaim that which is wrongfully withheld."
5.5.2008 5:44pm
Malvolio:
Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving met as children
Apropos of an earlier thread, Jeter was a child, 11; but Loving was already 17!
5.5.2008 10:15pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
An interesting detail is that the Lovings were married in Washington, D.C. This makes me wonder why the Supreme Court's opinion is based only on the violation of the Equal Protection clause. It would seem that the Virginia prosecution also violated the "full faith and credit" provision of Article 4, Section 1. Or does this not apply because the District of Columbia is not, strictly speaking, a state?
5.6.2008 3:39pm
CJColucci:
Full faith and credit has nothing to do with it. Recognition of marriages performed by another state are a matter of comity. States have always had a "public policy" exception to the general rule that a marriage valid where performed (assuming a reasonable nexus between the marrying state and the parties) is valid anywhere. Anti-miscegenation laws were a classic example, cited in the comments to the Restatement (Second) of Conflicts of Laws, (roughly contemporaneous with Loving) of a public policy exception. In order to decide Loving, the Supreme Court had to tell Virginia not that it had to defer to D.C., but that it couldn't have that kind of public policy at all.
5.6.2008 5:28pm
Randy R. (mail):
As I recall, the VA trial judge said something along the lines of:

"If God wanted the different races to marry, he wouldn't have put them on separate continents."

Which, when you think about it, is another example of a failure to understand evolution and religion, among other things.
5.7.2008 11:24am
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
Actually, a bit of research shows that the full faith and credit issue is more complicated. Although thus far the public policy exception has been held to stump the full faith and credit clause, over whose scope there is some controversy, the idea that full faith and credit might require recognition of marriages performed by other states contrary to a state's own law has its supporters. An example is Justice Scalia's expression of concern in his dissent in Lawrence v. Texas that application of the full faith and credit clause to the majority's decision might force all states to recognize same sex marriage.
5.7.2008 12:54pm