Thursday, December 02, 2010

Supporters of Prop 8 Seek Recusal of 9th Circuit Judge

As the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals moves to hear arguments next week in the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage, supporters of Prop 8 have filed papers seeking to have one of the judges on the appellate panel disqualify himself.  AP reports that in a filing with the court, appellants say that Judge Stephen Reinhardt's impartiality is open to question. The judge's wife, Ramona Ripston, is head of the Southern California chapter of the ACLU and in that role has been an outspoken opponent of Prop 8.  Also the ACLU has filed an amicus brief in the case on behalf of plaintiffs who are challenging the law. Reinhardt has recused himself in past cases involving the Southern California ACLU.  In August a federal district court held Prop 8 to be unconstitutional. (See prior posting.)

UPDATE: The Silicon Valley Mercury News reports that on Thursday, Judge Reinhardt refused to disqualify himself from hearing the case, saying: "I will be able to rule impartially in this appeal, and I will do so." Backers of Prop 8 will not challenge that ruling. [Thanks to Alliance Alert for the lead.]