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Gay Marriage at the 9th Cir.: Oral Argument Preview for ID, NV, HI

By William Peacock, Esq. on September 03, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

And then there were three.

While the Ninth Circuit originally had challenges to four states' gay marriage bans lined up for oral argument, Oregon's case came to an unsurprising end last week, when the Ninth Circuit dismissed the National Organization for Marriage's appeal of a denied motion to intervene. Since none of the actual parties to the case appealed, the court dismissed the case as well.

That leaves us with three states: Hawaii, Nevada, and Idaho, all of which are set for marathon oral arguments on Monday at 1 p.m. Pacific Time.

Read on for more information on the court's live video stream of the arguments as well as the judges who will hear those arguments.

Save the Date: Monday, Sept. 8 at 1 p.m. (Live Streamed)

Due to the anticipated interest in the arguments, the Ninth Circuit advises folks to use the live online stream instead of showing up in person. To do so, visit the court's website and click on the link under the beige-colored bar labeled "Live Oral Arguments."

Panel Full of Liberals

Equality on Trial has the scoop on the three judges assigned to hear the trio of cases -- and it's good news for same-sex marriage advocates.

Judge Stephen Reinhardt, an appointee of President Carter, authored the original Prop. 8 case as well as the Smithkline Beecham v. Abbott Labs holding from earlier this year. In that case, the panel held that the U.S. Supreme Court's holding in United States v. Windsor invalidated circuit precedent and demanded that heightened scrutiny apply to laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation.

Judge Marsha Berzon, a Clinton appointee, joined that opinion and joins Reinhardt on the panel, as will Judge Ronald Gould, a fellow Clinton appointee. He authored Witt v. Dept. of Air Force, a favorable decision for Maj. Margaret Witt who was discharged from the military under Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT). The decision held that DADT was subject to heightened scrutiny under Lawrence v. Texas.

Foregone Conclusion?

No case is over until the arguments have been made, but really, this case is about as close as it gets. Not only did same-sex marriage advocates get a favorable panel, but it's hard to see how the Ninth Circuit could rule in favor of gay marriage bans after Smithkline Beecham.

Plus, there's the fact that two other circuits have ruled against gay marriage bans, as has every judge to hear the issue since Windsor, save one state court judge in Tennessee and (as of today) one federal district judge in Louisiana.

Of course, we'll be watching the Ninth Circuit's same-sex marriage arguments along with everyone else. Check back here next week for our recap and analysis.

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