A retired federal judge’s long-term relationship with another man will be the subject of an unusual and possibly unprecedented court hearing Monday involving California’s same-sex marriage ban.

Lawyers for the sponsors of the voter-approved ban are asking the chief federal judge in San Francisco to vacate the decision issued by his predecessor last year that declared Proposition 8 an unconstitutional violation of gay Californians’ civil rights. They maintain that former Chief Judge Vaughn Walker should have recused himself or disclosed his relationship status before trial because he and his partner stood to personally benefit from Walker’s verdict.

Attorneys for the ban’s backers and for two same-sex couples who successfully sued to overturn the measure in Walker’s court are scheduled to present arguments on that question to Chief U.S. Judge James Ware, who could rule from the bench or at a later date.

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