George will leave the state Supreme Court on Jan. 2. He consolidated municipal and superior courts and brought them under his authority. He also wrote key decisions on abortion and same-sex marriage.
Faced with the self-assigned task of writing the California Supreme Court's first ruling on gay marriage, Chief Justice Ronald M. George drafted an opinion in early 2008 with two different endings. One gave same-sex couples the right to marry. The other didn't. Then he asked the six associate justices for reaction.
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