Idaho Judge on California Panel Monday to Consider Prop 8

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An Idaho judge robes-up Monday to take the spotlight in the legal fight over California's same-sex marriage ban.

N. Randy Smith is a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Once upon a time, Smith was a counsel for the J.R. Simplot Company and even served as Chairman of the Idaho Republican Party in the 1990s. Smith was named to the federal bench three years ago by President George W. Bush.

Judge N. Randy Smith

Smith joins two other jurists this week as the Ninth Circuit considers the California voter-approved ban, known as Proposition 8, which was overturned by a trial court judge, ruling it a civil rights violation.

In the first of a planned two-hour session Monday, the panel will consider if the group that put Prop 8 on the ballot two years ago is eligible to appeal the lower court decision. In the second hour, the panel will hear arguments on the constitutionality of Prop 8.

Gay marriage proponents successfully argued in the lower court that the definition of marriage has evolved over time and same-sex marriages would not harm the institution.

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