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2 of 3 judges in Proposition 8 case appointed by Democrats

SAN FRANCISCO — A liberal jurist is among three judges randomly selected by a federal appeals court to decide if a lower court improperly struck down California’s same-sex marriage ban.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced Monday that Judges Michael Hawkins, Stephen Reinhardt and N. Randy Smith were randomly assigned to the case over the constitutionality of the voter-approved ban, known as Proposition 8.

Reinhardt is regarded as one of the 9th Circuit’s most liberal jurists. He, along with Hawkins, were appointed by Democrat presidents. Smith was appointed by a Republican.

Observers predicted the panel’s makeup makes it less likely the court ruling would be reversed.

Proposition 8’s supporters agree, saying that they “fully expect” that the case would have to be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court.