Monday, November 29, 2010
There are probably only a couple of living judges I can think of off the top of my head who could have written a worse legal justification than the one Judge Vaughn Walker wrote in striking down Proposition 8, the California constitutional amendment which limits legally recognized marriages as being between one man and one woman. Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is one such judge. I say this on the basis of a previous decision Judge Reinhardt once wrote where he proclaimed a constitutional right to physician assisted suicide, as well as his joining an opinion that basically found the Pledge of Allegiance to be unconstitutional.
Now comes word that Judge Reinhardt has been selected to be on the three judge panel that will hear the appeal of Judge Walker's asinine Prop. 8 ruling. This, despite the fact that Reinhardt once opined in another case that the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. Think his fly might be just a little bit open here? Don't expect Reinhardt to exercise some integrity and recuse himself, though. When you're a liberal hack jurist, political ideology is king and it is indistinguishable from the law.
Update: As reported by Ed Whelan, Reinhardt's wife, Ramona Ripston, was not only a campaign contributor to the No on Prop. 8 campaign, she directly consulted with the plaintiffs who brought the lawsuit to challenge Prop. 8. Solid grounds for Reinhardt to self-disqualify, but again, don't expect it to happen.
Don't let that discourage you, though, from writing the court to let it know just how wrong it is that Reinhardt is on the panel to hear the Prop. 8 appeal.