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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Judge Stephen Reinhardt Won't Recuse Himself From Prop. 8 Trial

Posted By on Thu, Dec 2, 2010 at 7:45 AM

click to enlarge Judge Stephen Reinhardt says he'll be there for the Dec. 6 Prop. 8 trial - HARVARD LAW SCHOOL
  • Harvard Law School
  • Judge Stephen Reinhardt says he'll be there for the Dec. 6 Prop. 8 trial

Judge Stephen Reinhardt has spurned a motion that he recuse himself from adjudicating over the pending 9th Circuit Court of Appeal review of Proposition 8.

Supporters of the same-sex marriage ban contended that Reinhardt -- 79, a Jimmy Carter appointee, and likely the Court's most left-leaning judge -- would be unable to rule impartially on Prop. 8 due to the political activities of his wife.

The judge's "impartiality might be questioned" claims the motion, because his wife, Ramona Ripston, is a former executive director of the ACLU of Southern California. Ripston purportedly consulted with the plaintiffs in the Prop. 8 trial; the ACLU also filed motions in support of the plaintiffs during the trial before Judge Vaughn Walker and publicly supported his ruling declaring Prop. 8 unconstitutional. 

Reinhardt, however, brushed that aside, stating "I will be able to rule impartially."

How the three-judge panel handles the Monday hearing is, obviously, a matter of high anticipation. As SF Weekly wrote before, attempting to dismantle the masterful ruling Walker laid down would be difficult. But whether the Court of Appeal even delves into the inner workings of Walker's decision is in question. The Court may agree with Walker that the plaintiffs lack standing to appeal the case -- and that would be that.

In any event, viewers can watch the proceedings live on C-SPAN. Apparently, Reinhardt will be there.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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