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BREAKING NEWS: Ninth Circuit names judges who will hear Prop. 8 appeals case
San Diego Gay and Lesbian News • Nov 29, 2010
-- Judge Stephen Roy Reinhardt. He was confirmed in 1980 after being nominated by President Jimmy Carter. He served in the Air Force. On Nov. 18, 2009, the judge ruled in favor of a gay couple who were having their spousal health care benefits denied - Brad Levenson and Tony Sears were married during the period gay marriage was legal in California during 2008, and was seeking benefits for his partner while working as a public defender for the federal government. Judge Reinhardt also wrote an opinion relating to "standing" in a 1997 case relating to Arizona voters amending the state Constitution to make English the state's official language. In that opinion written by Judge Reinhardt, the court held that the sponsors of the ballot initiative could intervene. But later that year, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously thought the Ninth Circuit had "lost sight" of the limitations of federal courts to decide definitively on the meaning of state legislation.
-- Judge Michael Daly Hawkins. He joined the court in 1994 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton. He was U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona from 1977 to 1980 and then as Special Prosecutor for the Najavo Nation from 1985 to 1989.
-- Judge Norman Randy Smith. He was confirmed in 2007 after being nominated by President George W. Bush. Born in Logan, Utah, Smith graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor's degree in 1974, and received his J.D. from Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark School of Law in 1977.
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