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P rison inmates do not have a constitutional right to fatherhood, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

The court, en banc, overturned 6-5 a ruling handed down in September 2001 by a divided three-judge panel and decided that while the basic right to marry survives imprisonment, many of the “attributes of marriage” — including procreation — do not.

Writing for the majority, Judge Barry Silverman said that to hold otherwise “would be a radical and unprecedented interpretation of the Constitution.”

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