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Judge Stephen Reinhardt refuses to withdraw from Prop. 8 case

Judge Stephen Reinhardt, a federal appeals court jurist who had been asked to disqualify himself from hearing the case involving California's same-sex marriage ban, on Thursday declined to withdraw, saying he could rule impartially.

Supporters of Proposition 8 asked Reinhardt, of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, to recuse himself from the panel that on Monday will hear an appeal of a decision that the voter initiative defining marriage as between a man and a woman violates the Constitution.

Reinhardt is married to Ramona Ripston, longtime head of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. The ACLU has filed friend-of-the-court briefs in the same-sex marriage case, urging the appeals court to uphold U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's Aug. 4 ruling quashing Proposition 8.

In a two-page order filed with the appeals court, Reinhardt pointed out that he has disqualified himself in the past "when doing so was warranted by the circumstances," and cited numerous cases in which he withdrew due to a conflict of interest or the appearance of one.

"I will be able to rule impartially on this appeal, and I will do so," the 79-year-old judge wrote in denying the recusal motion.

Reinhardt, named to the court by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, was one of the three judges randomly selected from among the court's 47 active and senior judges to hear the appeal of Walker's ruling. Two additional judges were drawn by computer according to an elaborate formula that weighs case complexity and each judge's workload. They are Michael Daly Hawkins, an appointee of President Bill Clinton, and N. Randy Smith, named to the court by President George W. Bush.


Liberal, moderate, conservative judges will decide fate of Prop. 8

Appeals court sets hearing on Proposition 8

Christian and Jewish clergy voice support for gay-marriage ruling

-- Carol J. Williams

Comments () | Archives (33)

Why don't the prop 8 supporters, Protect Marriage, ask the mormon Judge Smith to recuse himself? After all, the mormon church co-sponsored and funded the prop 8 campaign.
It appears that Protect Marriage wishes to 'stack the deck' in their favor;
to legislate from the bench perhaps?
Hypocrisy, clearly!

Equality marriage rights for all!
Sorry, bigots, your time is at an end...
Are you talking about being bigoted against traditional marriage? Civil Unions can be structured to give the same rights as Marriage. This has nothing to do with Civil Rights.

the appointment of stephen reinhardt: reason number 343 that carter was a horrible president.

does anyone have a doubt about how old reinhardt would rule? the guy is a joke, a buffoon, a clown, a fool.

It's the 9th Circuit. Should we REALLY be surprised?

Just because his wife loves illegals, terrorists, sicko's and every criminal, it doesn't mean that the judge has a screw loose. He may be an honest judge who believes in justice. Frankly, it doesn't matter. Mankind has entered into a time of justice. Criminals will no longer be able to hide behind lies and lawyers. Criminals are being exposed. Even preachers who get in a little hanky-panky are standing in front of TV cameras telling how wrong and sorry they are. Rotten things that legislators are coming to light. Pain and suffering will come upon any judge who knowingly makes a wrong decision. Just wait and see what wrong doings are exposed in the coming days.

Why does anyone expect him to recuse himself? If one of the judges had a conservative spouse who sponsored Prop 8, that judge probably wouldn't recuse himself as well. If that happened, gay marriage supporters would be in an uproar. The fact is judges are human beings and often unable to see their own biases.

It's like how Rose Bird claimed she was impartial but was able to dismiss all 61 death penalty cases that came before her court. She said that she would impartially uphold any valid death penalty verdict. Of course, she already decided that no death penalty verdicts by definition were invalid.

Get a life bigots. Get off my rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness!

N. Randy Smith should recuse himself because he belongs to the Mormon cult.

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