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Monday, November 29, 2010

Judges Named For Prop. 8 Hearing

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 12:59 PM

click to enlarge gaymarriage_constitution.jpg

A liberal, a conservative, and a moderate. An old guy, a middle-aged guy, and a sorta young guy.

Sounds like the makings for a road-trip comedy. Could be. But it's definitely the composition for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' Dec. 6 hearing of the Proposition 8 case, which could determine the legality of same-sex marriage in this state. 

On the left is 79-year-old Stephen Reinhardt, a Jimmy Carter appointee. In the middle is Michael Daly Hawkins, a 65-year-old Bill Clinton moderate. And, on the right is Judge N. Randy Smith, a George W. Bush man.

Smith doesn't list his birthday on his bio like the others, but he did get his bachelor's at BYU in 1974 (he also got his law degree at BYU law school three years later). That makes him the kid of the bunch.

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In any event, how the three-judge panel interprets Judge Vaughn Walker's potentially groundbreaking ruling will be both fascinating -- and easy to see. Unlike the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case, which a Supreme Court ruling kept off TV, you won't have to rely on insta-bloggers, court sketches, and YouTube films of the court transcripts starring the guy who played Long Duk Dong.

You can watch the thing live on C-SPAN, or join others at officially sanctioned "public viewing" areas.

As for how this will play in court, that's a matter of high anticipation. Attempting to dismantle the masterful ruling Walker laid down will be difficult. But it may not even get that far -- the Court of Appeal may end up agreeing with Walker that the plaintiffs lack standing to appeal the case, and rule thusly. If so, can a wedding bonanza be far behind?  

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" is a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly, which he has written for since 2007. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers... more


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