SALT LAKE CITY — Three veteran 10th Circuit Court of Appeals judges will hear arguments next week in Utah's same-sex marriage case.
The 10th Circuit randomly assigned Judges Paul J. Kelly Jr., Carlos F. Lucero and Jerome A. Holmes to consider the appeal of a federal judge's ruling late last year that stuck down the state's voter-approved definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.
Republican presidents appointed two of the three judges, while a Democrat appointed the third. None of them have ties to Utah.
Kelly is the most senior of the three, having served on the Denver-based court since 1992. He was appointed by President George H.W. Bush.
Lucero, the first Hispanic named to the 10th Circuit, was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1995.
President George W. Bush named Holmes to the court in 2006. He is the first African-American to serve on the 10th Circuit.
U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby found Utah's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, saying it violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment.
The state appealed the Dec. 20 ruling to the 10th Circuit and asked the court to stay the decision, but it refused. About 1,300 gay and lesbian couples were married in Utah over a 17-day period.
Utah turned to the U.S. Supreme Court, which halted the marriages pending the appeal.
Attorneys for the state and the plaintiffs — three lesbian and gay couples — have given the judges plenty to read before the April 10 hearing. They have submitted lengthy written arguments to the court. Plus, more than 50 groups, organizations, coalitions and individuals have weighed in with friend-of-the-court briefs on both sides.
Here are brief bios of the three judges:
Judge Paul J. Kelly Jr.
University of Notre Dame, B.B.A., 1963
Fordham University School of Law, J.D., 1967
Private practice, Santa Fe, N.M., 1967-1992. New Mexico state representative, 1977-1981
Judge Carlos F. Lucero
Adams State College, B.A., 1961
George Washington University Law School, J.D., 1964
Law clerk, Judge William E. Doyle, U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, 1964-1965. Private practice, Alamosa, Colo., 1966-1995. Adjunct professor, Adams State College, 1968-1995
Judge Jerome A. Holmes
Wake Forest University, B.A., 1983
Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1988
Harvard University, M.P.A., 2000
Law clerk, Judge Wayne E. Alley, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, 1988-1990. Law clerk, Judge William J. Holloway Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, 1990-1991. Private practice, Washington, D.C., 1991-1994. Assistant U.S. attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Oklahoma, 1994-2005. Private practice, Oklahoma City, Okla., 2005-2006