Start clearing space on the DVR and setting it to record CSPAN now, because the latest round of hearings on Prop 8 gets underway next week and after the list of three, randomly-selected Ninth Circuit Court Judges was announced via the AP today today, it sounds like it's going to make for some interesting TV.

Doing the due diligence over on the SFAppeal, SFist pal Eve Batey presents all the necessary background research on your panel of judges. In no particular order, they are:

  • Judge Michael Daly Hawkins - former US Attorney for Arizona, Special Prosecutor for The Navajo Nation and a military judge for the Marines.
  • Judge Stephen Reinhardt - called "liberal badboy of the federal judiciary", he has previously ruled that denying health coverage to a same-sex spouse is unconstitutional and he's married to the Executive Director of the SoCal ACLU. (So maybe he's on Team Gay Marriage?)
  • Judge N. Randy Smith - received both his B.S. and J.D. from Brigham Young University, currently resides in Mormon-friendly Idaho and may or may not be a member of the pro-Prop 8 Church of Latter Day Saints (it's so hard to tell with these things!)

If you've been following along, then you should know that the sponsors of Prop 8 (that'd be the anti-Gay Marriage folks) are putting this appeal in front of the Ninth Circuit in hopes that the higher court will decided Judge Walker made an error back in August when he ruled the ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.