The Corner

Reinhardt to Be Among Those Hearing the Prop 8 Appeal

As Ed Whelan has noted over at Bench Memos, the names of the Ninth Circuit judges who will be hearing the appeal in the Prop 8 case have been announced, and one of them is Stephen Reinhardt. His radicalism is worth noting. Consider, for instance, his decision that the right to bear arms is a collective rather than an individual right, his decision that the Constitution contains a right to physician-assisted suicide, his decision invalidating California’s term-limits law, his decision allowing schools to ban T-shirts criticizing a school’s gay-rights policy, and, of course, his joining the opinion ruling the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional.

This pattern goes back some time, as this 1997 Weekly Standard article notes. Significant to this particular case is his ruling that the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional (on due-process grounds, no less); the context was the question of spousal benefits for a public defender.

Even the Onion has traded on his reputation — in “Activist Judge Cancels Christmas.”


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