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Seventh Circuit Reveals Three Judge Panel To Hear Today's Gay Marriage Case


As Ari Ezra Waldman reported earlier, today's hearing on marriage equality before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals hinges in some part at least on the three judges chosen to hear the arguments. Those judges have now been revealed as Judges Richard Posner, Anne Claire Williams and David Hamilton. As ThinkProgress reports, this news seems to portend well for marriage equality advocates: 

Judge Posner is the sole Republican on the panel — he’s served on the Court since President Reagan appointed him in 1981 — but he is a highly idiosyncratic judge who has grown increasingly critical of his fellow partisans in recent years….On the specific issue of gay rights, Posner’s views are a bit nuanced, but he is openly sympathetic to the case for equality. In a 2013 essay entitled “How Gay Marriage Became Legitimate,” Posner questioned the view that the courts have played much of a role in advancing LGBT equality. Using antiquated language, Posner’s bottom line was that “the growing acceptance of homosexual marriage seems a natural consequence of the sexual revolution that began in the 1960s rather than an effect, even to a small degree, of litigation.” Yet he was also dismissive of arguments against gay equality. “[I]t is hard to make a case for discriminating against [gay people],” Posner wrote, “apart from a religious case based largely on Roman Catholic doctrine.”

Judge Williams is a Clinton-appointee and a noted liberal scholar. Hamilton, meanwhile, was appointed by President Obama and was filibustered by Republican Senators “in large part due to a handful of opinions he handed down as a federal district judge on social issues such as abortion and religion.” Early speculation suggests both would be unlikely to break with the dramatic trend of federal justices supporting marriage equality.

Stay tuned for more news on the hearing today before the 7th Circuit.

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  1. So, correct me if I'm wrong, but...

    Would this get rid of the stays and put same-sex marriage back into place or would there be the possibility of yet ANOTHER stay and which means the states can then appeal the case to the Supreme Court during their next session?

    Posted by: johnny | Aug 26, 2014 11:48:15 AM

  2. @Johnny
    They will likely stay their ruling since SCOTUS wants to have the final word on marriage equality.

    Posted by: Dave | Aug 26, 2014 11:53:23 AM

  3. In July 2012, Posner stated, "I've become less conservative since the Republican Party started becoming goofy."

    Posted by: woody | Aug 26, 2014 12:26:49 PM

  4. live streaming?

    Posted by: woody | Aug 26, 2014 12:52:13 PM

  5. Some or all of the audio recording is at:

    Baskin v Bogan

    I have not listened to it yet.

    Posted by: Randy | Aug 26, 2014 1:17:54 PM

  6. All-star panel! :-)

    Posted by: Josh | Aug 26, 2014 1:58:23 PM

  7. Wolf v Walker

    Posted by: Randy | Aug 26, 2014 2:01:46 PM

  8. By all reports a very good day for our side. Posner ("the Republican") was having little of what the other side was giving. Looking forward to this ruling ...

    Posted by: Ernie | Aug 26, 2014 2:18:08 PM

  9. Loving these oral arguments.

    Posted by: CAnaive | Aug 26, 2014 2:26:04 PM

  10. WvW 5:15 "What if men stopped shaking hands, right? It would be the end of the nation, right?" ;)

    Posted by: Randy | Aug 26, 2014 2:43:00 PM

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