gay_cityhall_gavel.jpgThe panel of judges who’ll hear arguments in the latest round in the fight for same sex marriage has been announced and, per the AP, they’re a “diverse” group.

At 10 AM on Monday, Dec 6, sponsors of Proposition 8 will appeal August’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker to strike down the same sex marriage ban.

The three 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges who were randomly assigned to consider if a Walker erred in overturning the voter-approved ban on same-sex nuptials are:

Judge Michael Daly Hawkins: If Wikipedia is to be believed, he was born in Winslow, Arizona (no word on how many women are on his mind), got his BA and JD from Arizona State University in 1967 and 1970, respectively, and his Masters in Law degree from the University of Virginia in 1998. The Chron describes him as a “moderate Democrat.” Career highlights include being the US Attorney for Arizona from 1977 until 1980, Special Prosecutor for The Navajo Nation from 1985 through 1989, and a special courts martial military judge for the Marines from 1973 until 1976. He was appointed by President Bill Clinton.

Judge Stephen Reinhardt: Described as the “liberal badboy of the federal judiciary,” Reinhardt was the object of this Onion piece in which Christmas was ruled unconstitutional. He recently ruled that denial of health coverage to a same-sex spouse was unconstitutional. According to Wikipedia, Reinhardt is married to former Executive Director of the ACLU of Southern California Ramona Ripston. He lives in LA, and was appointed by President Jimmy Carter.

Judge N. Randy Smith: Wikipedia tells us that Smith attended the very Mormon Brigham Young University, where he received his B.S. degree in 1974 and his J.D. in 1977. As you can imagine, this has a lot of folks talking! He lives in Idaho, and was appointed by President George W. Bush.

Well, this is certainly going to be interesting. Monday’s hearing will be held in the 9th Circuit’s courthouse at Seventh and Mission streets and broadcast on C-SPAN.

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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