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Judge who authored gay marriage ruling charted moderate path

Michael Boudin’s father was a prominent civil rights lawyer who vigorously defended left-wing activists during the McCarthy and Vietnam era. His sister was a ’60s radical in the Weather Underground who pleaded guilty to murder in a 1981 armored car holdup in which two policemen and a guard were killed.

But Boudin, a federal appeals judge who wrote the unanimous decision that declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, charted a centrist course and became a jurist known for a moderate temperament, evenhandedness, and independent mind.

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