Michael Hawkins

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Michael Hawkins
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Current Court Information:
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Title:   Senior Judge
Station:   Phoenix, AZ
Service:
Appointed by:   Bill Clinton
Active:   9/15/1994 - 2/12/2010
Senior:   2/12/2010-Present
Preceded by:   Thomas Tang
Past post:   Private practice
Past term:   1980 - 1994
Personal History
Hometown:   Winslow, AZ
Undergraduate:   Arizona State University 1967
Law School:   Arizona State University College of Law 1970
Grad. School:   University of Virginia School of Law 1998

Michael Daly Hawkins is a senior judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He joined the court in 1994 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton. He assumed senior status on February 12, 2010.[1]

Early life and education

Born in Winslow, Arizona, Hawkins graduated from Arizona State with his bachelor's degree in 1967 and later from Arizona State Law with his Juris Doctor degree in 1970. Hawkins obtained his Masters of Law degree in 1998 from Virginia Law Hawkins served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Special Court Martial Military Judge from 1970 to 1973.[2]

Career

Hawkins was a private practice attorney in Arizona from 1973 to 1976 and from 1980 to 1994. In 1977, Hawkins joined the U.S. Attorney's Office as Hawkins was nominated by President Jimmy Carter to U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona from 1977 to 1980. Hawkins also served as a Special Prosecutor for the Navajo Nation from 1985 to 1989.[2]

Federal judicial career

Hawkins was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by President Bill Clinton on July 13, 1994 to a seat vacated by Thomas Tang. Hawkins was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 14, 1994, and received commission on September 15, 1994.[3]

Notable cases

Proposition 8 appeal (2011-2012)

     United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Perry v. Brown, Appeal No. 11-16577)

On December 8, 2011, the court heard arguments from Proposition 8 supporters asking for Northern District Chief Judge James Ware's decision against them and vacate former Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling on the proposition's constitutionality. Proposition supporters are arguing that Judge Walker was biased against them at trial because he was involved in a same-sex relationship at the time. The panel hearing the appeal consists of Judges Michael Hawkins, Stephen Reinhardt and Randy Smith.[4]

For the full story, see Proposition 8 supporters ask appeals court to overturn ruling.

Update: On Tuesday, February 7, a three judge appellate panel from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its ruling in Perry v. Brown which upheld the rulings by district court judges Vaughn Walker and James Ware which overturned California's Proposition 8 which blocked same sex marriage in the state. The panel, consisting of Judges Michael Hawkins, Stephen Reinhardt and Randy Smith, stated that “Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California." The court ruled that the same-sex marriage ban violated the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause. The ruling states:

Although the Constitution permits communities to enact most laws they believe to be desirable, it requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently. There was no such reason that Proposition 8 could have been enacted... Under California statutory law, same-sex couples had all the rights of opposite-sex couples, regardless of their marital status...

In effect, the court concluded that, because domestic partnerships had already established equal rights for same-sex couples, the measure only served to deny these relationships the designation of "marriage." This, according to the court, was not a legitimate purpose for treating these couples differently under the law. The panel rendered split in its decision with Judge Randy Smith concurring in part and dissenting in part. The panel upheld both the decisions of Chief Judge Ware as well as Senior Judge Walker, whose original decision has been challenged on the grounds that Walker had an undisclosed long term relationship with another man at the time of the case. The ruling clears the way for the Supreme Court to weigh in on the subject next year.[5] For expansive coverage of the ballot measure and ensuing legal controversy, please see: California Proposition 8, the "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry" Initiative (2008).

In a separate ruling, on Thursday, the same panel refused to release the videos from the original trial. The panel held that Walker “promised the litigants that the conditions under which the recording was maintained would not change — that there was no possibility that the recording would be broadcast to the public in the future.” Because of this, the judges determined that, “The integrity of our judicial system depends in no small part on the ability of litigants and members of the public to rely on a judge’s word. The record compels the finding that the trial judge’s representations to the parties were solemn commitments,” and that the video's should not be released.[6]

See also

External links

References



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