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Liberal, moderate, conservative judges will decide fate of Prop. 8

November 29, 2010 | 10:57 am


The federal appeals court panel that will decide the legality of Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage in California, represents a broad ideological spectrum of the judiciary.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals announced Monday that Stephen Reinhardt, the liberal lion of the circuit, will decide the case along with Michael Daly Hawkins, a moderate appointed by President Clinton, and N. Randy Smith, a conservative named to the court by President George W. Bush.

The panel is scheduled to hear arguments on Dec. 6 in San Francisco.

The appeals court has asked attorneys on both sides to devote the first hour of the hearing to arguments on whether anyone has the legal authority to appeal the August federal district court ruling that found the measure unconstitutional.

The second hour will be spent on questions concerning the measure's constitutionality.

California voters resurrected the state's ban on same-sex marriage with the November 2008 ballot initiative. The ruling against Proposition 8 by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker is on hold pending the 9th Circuit's decision.


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-- Carol J. Williams

Photo: Supporters of Proposition 8 rally in West Hollywood earlier this year. Credit: Los Angeles Times