December 3, 2010
By Adam Bink
Via TPAKyle in last night’s post on NOM’s pushback to Judge Stephen Reinhardt, here’s the e-mail blast:
Judge Stephen Reinhardt has just refused to step down from a three-judge panel that will consider the arguments for and against Prop 8 on Monday — in spite of the fact that his wife has provided legal counsel to one of the parties in the case! And in an unparalleled act of judicial arrogance — he has refused in his initial order even to explain why!
My friend, in a few days a three-judge panel in San Francisco’s 9th Circuit is going to consider Judge Walker’s heinous attempt to overrule 7 million Californians and impose his values on the American people. (Visit http://www.prop8case.com for live coverage of Monday’s oral arguments beginning shortly before 10am PT / 1pm ET.)
Unless you act today, one of these three judges will be Judge Stephen Reinhardt-and this very liberal judge has a serious conflict of interest that means he should disqualify himself from hearing this case.
I have an urgent, urgent request for you.
Will you call the 9th Circuit today, right now: and tell them: Judge Reinhardt should disqualify himself!
What’s the problem? Judge Reinhardt’s wife, the head of Southern California’s ACLU, actually consulted as an attorney with the plaintiffs challenging Prop 8! Judge Reinhardt’s wife gave legal advice to one of the sides in this case-how can he appear as an impartial abiter of justice!
The Judicial Code of Conduct forbids even the appearance of impropriety. And it would be improper for Judge Reinhardt to make himself arbiter of the fate of 7 million Californians when his own wife is an active part of one side’s case!
This is urgent. Drop everything and call right now. (415) 355-8000.
Then pass this message on to your friends and urge them to call (415) 355-8000.
Remember, be rational, be polite, be your best self-this is the judiciary of the U.S. and they deserve our respect-but call today and tell them: “Judge Reinhardt must disqualify himself, because his wife has given legal advice to one of the parties in this case-and that’s not fair!” Call (415) 355-8000.
For more background, I’ve included NOM’s press release below. But please, as you value your liberty, as you value a fair and impartial judiciary, as you value you and your children’s right to vote for marriage-call right now today! (415) 355-8000.
God bless you!
Aside from that, as a matter of course, judges are generally not required to explain themselves upon recusal, it’s clear that NOM cares only about getting their way, not about our democracy. They argued Judge Walker should have done the same thing because he was gay. Now this.
Let’s go back to the interview of Maggie Gallagher in Charleston by one Arisha Michelle Hatch.
Here’s what I wrote at the time (bolding added):
In the first five minutes of this video, she is just all over the place in her response. First she says “first of all, it’s relevant” to “I’m not sure it is relevant” to “it’s not necessarily relevant” to “it could be relevant” to “I don’t believe that it’s totally irrelevant” to finally admitting “I don’t know if it has a bearing or not”. Eventually, she says, “if he upheld Prop 8, I think it’d be even more relevant”- clearly drawing a line between his sexual orientation and his judgment, even if she doesn’t want to admit it.
Re-read that bolded line. It gets at the point I’m trying to make- if a judge is about to do something that NOM doesn’t like, NOM will viciously attack the judge on any grounds it can find- judicial independence be damned. But only if they don’t like the ruling.
Why? Because they don’t like the judicial system. It doesn’t work for them when justice is served.
Fast forward to today, where NOM is attempting to pre-but a ruling they potentially might not like. Heck, if they had their way, we’d have religion-based courts- not courts based on what the Constitution or the laws of a particular state say. Which, if NOM’s attack on the judicial system continues, may be at the end of the road. It goes far above and beyond a simple court interpretation.
It’s NOM vs. the entire judicial branch.