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Chief Justice John Roberts Has Personal Connection to Prop. 8 Case

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Posted on Mar 25, 2013

Chief Justice John Roberts.

A member of Chief Justice John Roberts’ family has a personal stake in one of the highly anticipated gay marriage cases the Supreme Court will hear this week.

Jean Podrasky, Roberts’ cousin, is a lesbian who wishes to wed her partner. She currently can’t, however, because of Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that bars same-sex couples from marrying in the state. But if the high court upholds a lower court decision’s to strike down the state’s ban on gay marriage, she would be allowed to do so.

Podrasky will be among those in attendance when the justices hear oral arguments in the Proposition 8 case Tuesday.

“He is a smart man,” Podrasky, who will sit in an area reserved for family and special guests of the chief justice, said of Roberts. “He is a good man. I believe he sees where the tide is going. I do trust him. I absolutely trust that he will go in a good direction.”

Los Angeles Times:

Podrasky lives in San Francisco and usually sees Roberts only on family occasions. His mother is her godmother, whom she adores. She said Roberts knows she is gay and introduced her along with other relatives during his Senate confirmation hearing. She hopes he will meet her partner of four years, Grace Fasano, during their Washington visit. The couple flew to Washington on Sunday.

...Podrasky obtained the highly coveted courtroom seats by emailing Roberts’ sister, Peggy Roberts, and then going through his secretary. Roberts knows she is attending, she said. She, her partner, her sister and her niece will attend Tuesday’s arguments on Proposition 8. On Wednesday, her father will take her niece’s place for the hearing on the challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act.

Although Podrasky has no personal knowledge of her cousin’s views on same-sex marriage, she expects the court will overturn the 2008 ballot initiative, leaving her free to marry Fasano.

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—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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