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A Jeter — Not Derek — Makes Appearance in Prop. 8 Hearing

Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving
//yeti-cir-test.s3.amazonaws.com/uploaded/images/2010/12/mildred-jeter-and-richard-loving/original/2472483552_ed978dd071_z.jpg
Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving
 

Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving
Creative Commons/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanzak/2472483552" target="_blank">stanzak</a>
https://citizen-media.s3.amazonaws.com/uploaded/images/2010/12/mildred-jeter-and-richard-loving/original/2472483552_ed978dd071_z.jpg?Signature=1EzT9Le%2FFCWn0SMm97iQFCW2EOc%3D&Expires=1359073718&AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAICY2ZBGLHCXTSKJA
Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving
Creative Commons/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanzak/2472483552" target="_blank">stanzak</a>

Updated Dec. 7, 2010 at 6:58 p.m.

Update: It turns out that there is a perfectly sensible reason for Prop. 8's proponents to mention a "Mr. Jeter" in oral arguments at the federal appeals court. Turns out attorney Charles Cooper wasn't talking about Derek Jeter at all, but about a male equivalent of Mildred Jeter, the black woman whose anger over not being allowed to marry a white man, Richard Loving, led to a landmark Supreme Court court ruling in the case Loving v. Virginia, in which justices found prohibitions on interracial marriage unconstitutional. 

Cooper's argument was that if Mildred Jeter had been a man and not a woman, the Supreme Court would have ruled in 1967 that a Mr. Jeter could not marry a Mr. Loving. Therefore, he said, the Supreme Court's edict that bans on interracial marriage are unconstitutional should not be considered as the appeals court evaluates the legal status of California's ban on same-sex unions.

To have written a story that is completely wrong is certainly embarassing and shows once again that any reporter worth his salt should check every fact before sending anything to an editor. Many thanks to the attornies who wrote to me to clarify this point.

--Aaron Glantz

 

New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is one of America’s most celebrated--and desired bachelors - famous for dating models and celebrities.

So it was interesting to hear his name come up Monday at the federal appeals court hearing on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the 2008 ban on same-sex marriage in California.

Charles Cooper, the attorney representing Prop. 8’s proponents, was arguing that a famous Supreme Court ruling on inter-racial marriage, Loving v. Virginia, did not give marriage rights to same-sex couples.

"We know that if Mr. Loving had desired to marry Mr. Jeter, that the case would not have come out the same way," he said. 

Cooper was traveling Tuesday and was not immediately available for an interview, so it’s unclear if the Washington-based lawyer was referring to the famous Yankee shortstop.

But it’s hard to think of any other famous men with the same name, however, or why Cooper would use a fairly unique name like “Mr. Jeter” in a hypothetical court argument rather than a more generic one, like “Mr. Smith.”

Jeter agreed to a new, three-year $51 million contract shortly before the court hearing.

Perhaps Cooper is a baseball fan and read the news right before he went in to argue his case.

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