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9th Circuit Releases|Names of Prop 8 Judges

(CN) - The 9th Circuit revealed Monday that Judges Stephen R. Reinhardt, Michael Daly Hawkins and N. Randy Smith will hear oral arguments Dec. 6 over the constitutionality of Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage.

Reinhardt, 79, was appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1980 and is widely viewed as one of the court's most liberal judges. He will be the panel's senior judge.

Hawkins, 65, is a senior circuit judge based in Phoenix who was appointed to the federal appeals court in 1994 by President Bill Clinton.

Smith, 61, is one of the court's newest members and was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2007. He is based in Idaho.

The three-judge panel will hear arguments beginning at 10 a.m. PT in San Francisco.

Two same-sex couples say the voter-approved Prop. 8, which defines marriage as exclusively between a man and woman, is unconstitutional.

The case is on appeal from U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who found Prop. 8 unconstitutional after a two-week bench trial in April and permanently enjoined its enforcement.

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