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Will justices’ personal family choices shape views in same-sex marriage cases?

Some are single, others are married. Some divorced, and some remarried. Some married partners from different racial or ethnic backgrounds. Some have biological children, some adopted children, and some chose not to have children.

Who are they? The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. And as they take up a pair of cases challenging federal and state laws banning same-sex marriage recognition, their own personal experiences could help shape their views of the parties’ arguments, the AP’s Mark Sherman writes.

One of the arguments advanced by proponents of California’s Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act is that marriage was intended for the creation of biological children, and should therefore be limited to opposite-sex couples. Those challenging the laws rely on case law such as a  1967 Supreme Court decision striking down state law interracial marriage bans as unconstitutionally discriminatory.

While the justices rarely cite personal experience in their opinions, they “also are not immune to considering how they might be affected by the course one side or the other is advocating in a dispute before them,” Sherman wrote.

 

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