An en banc panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals seemed ready Thursday to throw out the court’s decision last year upholding the right of two Alaska residential landlords to refuse to rent to unmarried couples.

Before a packed courtroom Thursday, several judges — including conservatives on the 11-judge panel — expressed concern not that the landlords’ religious stand violated Alaska’s antidiscrimination housing statutes, but whether their claim was ripe and properly before the court in the first place.

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