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Judge Reinhardt Denies Recusal Request in Prop 8 Case

Just one day after the proponents’ motion arguing that he should recuse himself, Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt announces that he will not remove himself from the panel considering the appeal of Prop 8.  In his order, Judge Reinhardt notes that he has disqualified himself in the past, but writes, “I am certain that ‘a reasonable person with knowledge of all the facts would [not] conclude that [my] impartiality might reasonably be questioned.’  I will be able to rule impartially on this appeal, and I will do so.”

In a memorandum further explaining his position a month later, Judge Reinhardt writes, “Proponents’ contention that I should recuse myself due to my wife’s opinions is based upon an outmoded conception of the relationship between spouses….  Because my wife is an independent woman, I cannot accept Proponents’ position that my impartiality might reasonably be questioned under [the recusal requirements of the U.S. Code] because of her opinions or the views of the organization she heads.”

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