Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

Ninth Circuit judges head to Hawaii for annual confab; US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy to attend

Tropical breezes, ocean sunsets and same-sex marriage will likely be the highlights of this year’s Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference taking place Saturday, August 14 through Thursday, August 19 at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa in the Ka’anapali area of Maui, Hawai’i.

In a quirk of timing, the annual judicial confab comes as the Ninth Circuit finds itself embroiled in the national fight over marriage rights for same-sex couples. Opponents of granting marriage licenses to gays and lesbians have asked the appellate court to stay a local federal judge’s decision to allow the gay nuptials to once again take place in California as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, August 18.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker Thursday, August 12 denied a motion to stay his ruling overturning the Golden State’s same-sex marriage ban known as Proposition 8. Having heard testimony this past winter in the Perry vs. Schwarzenegger case, brought by two same-sex couples and San Francisco officials, Walker found Prop 8 to be unconstitutional.

Late Thursday the Yes on 8 campaign leaders filed a motion with the Ninth Circuit seeking an emergency stay of Walker’s decision in order to block the weddings from taking place.

A three-judge panel will be assigned to hear the matter, while whatever the appellate court decides is expected to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The justice assigned to hear stay motions from the Ninth Circuit is centrist Justice Anthony Kennedy (pictured at right).

Kennedy, as it turns out, will be a featured speaker at the Polynesian get-together next week. He is scheduled to address the conference attendees and take part in various conversations about matters of importance to the Ninth Circuit.

“The conference will offer an opportunity to meet colleagues and other members of the bar, renew acquaintances and catch up on the latest events in our circuit,” wrote Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski on the conference’s website.

Walker is also expected to attend, as his court website lists him as unavailable next week and he is scheduled to preside over the Tuesday, August 17 “Chief District Judges Breakfast Meeting.”

It should make for some interesting conversations on the beach, at Sunday’s golf tournament and on the buffet line.

— Matthew S. Bajko, August 13, 2010 @ 11:52 am PST
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