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NOM vs. the judicial branch

9th Circuit Court of Appeals NOM Exposed Prop 8 trial

By Adam Bink

Via TPAKyle in last night’s post on NOM’s pushback to Judge Stephen Reinhardt, here’s the e-mail blast:

*****BREAKING NEWS*****

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.

71 Comments

  • 1. Alan E.  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:19 am

    I wonder if there will ever be a "anti judge" hate group in the SLPC?

  • 2. Bennett  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:20 am

    "arbiter of the fate of 7 million Californians"

    NOM is surely wearing out their scary synonym Thesaurus.

  • 3. StraightForEquality  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:20 am

    Just subscribing now to read later.

  • 4. Skemono  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:21 am

    Judge Walker’s heinous impartial and well-reasoned attempt to overrule 7 million Californians and impose his values the rule of law and the Constitution on the American people

    There. Fixed that for them.

  • 5. Kathleen  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:24 am

    A brief article in The Recorder on the question of Reinhardt's recusal http://tinyurl.com/2v9pc8s

  • 6. Steven  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:26 am

    unbelievable!!!!! They don't care about Civil rights, just their rights.

  • 7. Bennett  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:26 am

    But I tend to agree. Maybe he should recuse himself. As should all Christians, Catholics, Mormans, or anyone else who has a conflict of interest, real or perceived. That being anyone who's elected version of faith might encumber their ability to rule in favor of equaiity at the risk of securing their eternal soul's damnation. This trial should be presided over by Androids only.

  • 8. Ronnie  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:26 am

    NOM = National Organization for Mewling….. XP …..Ronnie

  • 9. Bob Barnes  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:27 am

    Take a gander at this article:
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-03/clarence

  • 10. Cat  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:30 am

    Or Klaatu & Gort…

  • 11. nightshayde  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:31 am

    I have an Android platform phone and no religious beliefs at all. Do I qualify?

  • 12. cc  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:32 am

    "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."

    Let’s be honest here, it isn't just NOM. I have heard worries/ concerns and strong arguments and opposition on our side (not CC) in regard to the Judge that may or may not be a Mormon. So I don't know if we should attack them on that, from the sounds of it they might have had a legitimate argument if the judge did step down, but since he didn't clearly he feels his impartiality hasn't been compromised.

  • 13. Bob Barnes  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:35 am

    you mean all the Californians that coincidentally voted for the candidates that said they would not defend Prop 8?

    Or, did not vote for the candidates that said they would defend Prop 8?

    Either way, I think those 7 million have reconsidered.

  • 14. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:39 am

    It has been NOM versus not only the Judicial Branch, but anyone who believes in what our Constitution stands for when their stance on the constitution goes against what NOM wants. The sooner NOM is officially listed as a Hate Group by the SPLC and others who watch groups carefully and make this determination, the better off all of us will be. NOM is nothing more than a new breed of fascism and Nazism combined. And let us never forget that the first ones the Third Reich went after were the LGBT community.

  • 15. Rebecca in Chicago  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:43 am

    Yes, you are correct that many people on our side have questioned Judge Smith's impartiality because he graduated from BYU.

    But we have not mobilised the progressive equivalent to the money-flooding NOM machine. I haven't received any blasts frantickly asking me to call and complain to the court about Judge Smith. Olson and Boies did not file a formal objection to Smith's assignment.

    That's the difference here.

  • 16. Lawrence  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:44 am

    This is is not just the organization NOM against the constitution and the judicial branch, but the secret funding groups behind NOM against the constitution. And these are almost certainly primarily religious groups – the Mormon church, various Catholic organizations, various Southern Baptist organizations, and others (NOM would have to disclose their funders to argue anything else). So this is an attack by religion on the constitution – seen directly in the Iowa removal of judges, in the attacks on Walker, the attacks now on Reinhardt, and the ongoing ideological attacks on "activist judges overruling the will of the people" (sic). Let's call it how it is – religious groups are attacking the constitution (through NOM as a front).

  • 17. Cat  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:47 am

    I agree. It's the same deal with the "if he upheld Prop 8, I think it’d be even more relevant" quote from Maggie. If a gay judge rules against an gay rights issue, he/she appears to be unbiased. If the same judge would rule for this issue, the possibility of bias is still unclear.

    The hypocrisy comes in when you are a Mormon who is OK with a Mormon judge ruling for a Mormon, but against a Atheist judge ruling for an Atheist, and situations like that.

  • 18. Marlene  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:51 am

    The religious reicht have *always* held the belief (more like delusion) that they and ONLY they are the sole arbiters of religious and social life in this country.

    They have always hated the Constitution, because not only is the document secular, but it guarantees protections of the minority.

  • 19. Ed  |  December 3, 2010 at 5:24 am

    I just read their blog, (NOM), asnd they are going absolutely apeshit! This Ed Whelan person is positively freaking out…..it's kind of funny….

    To NOM, people, please have a beer, drink, 420, just something to relax….

    Maybe they need some really great sex (see? no sex can bottle you up LOL)

    Ya'll had a chance to present a strong case, and failed to do so (hey, i'm just giving them the benefit of the doubt about the strong case bit).
    Oh, the thing about great sex? We know Bryan has had sex (as his herd, I mean 7 kids can attest to), but that doesn't mean it was *great* sex……
    Ed

  • 20. The Mad Sotsman  |  December 3, 2010 at 5:30 am

    Thanks for the phone numbers. I just left a message (press 8 for Prop 8) supporting Judge Reinhardt and saying the Mormon judge had more reason to recuse himself but we're fine with that. … Cheers, Neil.

  • 21. Ed Cortes  |  December 3, 2010 at 5:39 am

    'scribin'

  • 22. OldCoastie  |  December 3, 2010 at 5:44 am

    NOM certainly is liberal in it use of exclamation points.

  • 23. Sagesse  |  December 3, 2010 at 5:47 am

    Moi aussi.

  • 24. nightshayde  |  December 3, 2010 at 5:56 am

    *snerk*

    I don't think I've ever seen the word "liberal" applied to NOM. *giggle*

  • 25. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 3, 2010 at 6:04 am

    They are also quite liberal in their dispensation of male bovine fecal matter.

  • 26. Lodrelhai  |  December 3, 2010 at 6:27 am

    More than that, we've had an article on this very blog pointing out how Judge Smith's possible faith (we don't even know for sure if he's Mormon) is not, by itself, a reason for him to recuse himself.

    I'm glad for the posted phone number though! I called in and said unless Judge Reinholt's wife is going to be in the courtroom as part of the legal team, he had no reason to recuse himself.

  • 27. nightshayde  |  December 3, 2010 at 6:55 am

    Very true.

    Having nothing to do with either NOM or bovine fecal matter..

    Happy Hanukkah! I've thought of you guys the past two evenings as we've lit candles at my house.

  • 28. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 3, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Thank you. We have also been thinking of all our extended family here at P8TT when we light the candles, and praying that each and every one sees even more brightness every day. I have even been posting our Hanukkah pictures on my Facebook page.

  • 29. Ed-M  |  December 3, 2010 at 7:25 am

    "if they had their way, we’d have religion-based courts"

    Exactly. That's why they're so afraid of Islamic sharia law. They use it as a red herring that they want to prevent the Muslims from creating a theocracy in this country. Because they want CHRISTIAN sharia law, and HATE competition.

  • 30. Sean  |  December 3, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Just called to THANK and COMMEND Judge Reinhardt for refusing to step down. Thaks, NOM, for providing me the number!

  • 31. Rhie  |  December 3, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Watching…

  • 32. Ann S.  |  December 3, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Et moi.

  • 33. Ronnie  |  December 3, 2010 at 8:22 am

    I really want to know why NOM is allowing a murder & violence advocate to post on their page….NOM says they don't hate Gay people but they are allowing this guy to call innocent people derogatory & hateful terms…he is not speaking about a "behavior" he is directly attacking people in general….Everything is his post has nothing to do with marriage & has everything to do with physically attacking people

    Leroy Solomon > Protect Marriage: One Man, One Woman
    "The radical homosexual agenda is working against the interests of the common people and traditional values, and it promotes the hedonistic decadence and degeneration of our societies that we can see every day. They want that process to continue even further. If you detest homosexual weddings and homosexual adoptions of children you are a bigot and narrow-minded, they say.

    The difficulty with these deviants & perverts isn't what they do behind closed doors, but the fact they've infiltrated EVERY level of society (Church, media, legal system, politics) & utilise this in the promotion of undermining the family, traditional & national values of the folk.

    (me) I wonder if NOM realizes that that is the same mindset Hitler had before he ordered the imprisonment & deaths of 1000's of Gay men….really, I thought NOM was only about "Marriage" & not about the criminalization & imprisonment of LGBT people…I wonder how NOM plans to stop LGBT people from being in public since that is what their supporters are promoting?….. : / …..Ronnie

  • 34. JonT  |  December 3, 2010 at 8:33 am

  • 35. Ronnie  |  December 3, 2010 at 8:34 am

    hahahahaha….NOM is so funny…..

    Protect Marriage: One Man, One Woman "We need your help to protect the gift of marriage this Christmas season. The November elections have brought us to a moment of unprecedented opportunities, with the chance to pass new marriage amendments, strengthen legislative protections, and even roll back same-sex marriage in states like New Hampshire and Iowa. Now we must begin converting our electoral successes into lasting legislative victories. Join us at www"

    (me) along with this they posted a NOM video titled "NOM 2010 Marriage Challenge"…not even going to watch it……so they have officially announced it…not only are they going to work to take rights away from the American people that have already been given too them…. they are going to attack the LGBT families & tax payers of those states…shame on NOM for not only destroying marriage, american freedom, but Christmas as well….Christmas is about giving, loving, & sharing…not taking away, controlling, & Fascism….good job NOM….you're a mean one Mr. Grinch ….you really are a heel….YOU'RE HEARTS AN EMPTY WHOLE!!!!…… ; ) …Ronnie

  • 36. Sarah K  |  December 3, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Out of all of that, the best part I took was TPAKyle felt the need to remind his readers to sound 'rational' when they call in.

  • 37. Carol  |  December 3, 2010 at 9:00 am

    The argument that Reinhardt should recuse himself because his wife runs an ACLU affiliate seems a throwback to the days when a married couple were legally one person: him. Those days have been over for some time in this country, at least since women got the vote. He should recuse himself from a case in which he or a family member has a financial interest, but this is not such a case. Would we say he had to recuse himself if he had a gay child or sibling? If he were a Mormon or Catholic? Clearly not. Because he's a liberal? NOM thinks so.

    NOM was smart not to pursue the issue after they lost. After all, they'll be seeing him on Monday.

  • 38. Alan E.  |  December 3, 2010 at 9:01 am

    TPAKyle was the guy who posted it in the comments, not the person who wrote it.

  • 39. Bennett  |  December 3, 2010 at 10:08 am

    I wonder. . .

    If Judge Reinhardt were gay and his unable to marry him in California partner has provided the same legal counsel to one of the parties in the case, would NOM still request recusal? Surely having a friend of the "registry of friends" kind would be no problem.

    If he had married his partner during the window in which same sex marriage was legal in California, would "its not really marriage" Maggie still push for recusal?

  • 40. JonT  |  December 3, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Well Bennet — of course you know that if Walker's judgment is upheld, those 7 million will be required to turn gay immediately and stop reproducing… Right…?
    :)

  • 41. Dave  |  December 3, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Is there any relationship between "Protect Marriage" and NOM. I know the actual D-I is Protect Marriage.

  • 42. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 3, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Two names for the same bunch of idiots.

  • 43. Kathlene  |  December 3, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Can someone please explain to me how a washington based organization that flagrantly violates campaign finance disclosure laws in every single state it gets involved hasn't been forced to disclose yet? How long can they keep this tied up in court? I know Courage Campaign targeted The Ruth Institute for endorsing a candidate, is there really no regulatory body to report NOM to? The way they operate is blatantly illegal yet no one is stopping them. This is a perfect example of yet another reason why our judicial system is a fucking JOKE.

  • 44. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 3, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    √ Android Phone
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    Woot — I qualify with both too…but I am not sure if being a P8TT would get me disqualified.

  • 45. Carpool Cookie  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Thank you for including us in you Hanukkah wishes!

    : )

  • 46. Carpool Cookie  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    "I wonder if NOM realizes that that is the same mindset Hitler had before he ordered the imprisonment & deaths of 1000′s of Gay men…."

    It's indeed very weird to hear ranting like that.

    Those are the kind of people who end up as snipers. I can just see that poster organizing groups of villagers with torches and pitchforks to storm the castle.

  • 47. Carpool Cookie  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Oooops…my post was inadvertently rather BOLDFACED. Sorry.

  • 48. Elizabeth Oakes  |  December 3, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Ditto. Laws don't protect citizens unless they're enforced. Sadly, our democracy has been corrupted to the point that political playahs can get away with lax enforcement, to their benefit and that of their corporate/dogmatic masters.

    But we have to keep squawking about it. Otherwise, we're REALLY sunk.

  • 49. MJFargo  |  December 4, 2010 at 12:32 am

    I'm sitting here thinking of some poor clerk sitting in the court house answering the telephone and, what, taking a message and then giving it to…? This isn't a campaign headquarters or office of an elected official. What on earth do they expect to accomplish other than to show how ignorant they are and annoy people who could care less what "the public" thinks. "Oh. You've got 400 calls saying you should recuse yourself and 150 saying you shouldn't." What's the judge going to do? Think about it some more because his phone is ringing off the hook from people who haven't the slightest idea how the judicial system works (and I'd include their legal representatives in that even though David Boise said they were good attorneys…well, good attorneys with a losing argument, but I didn't even hear an argument).

    There. I feel better.I've just come from a board reading about Keith Olbermann and Bristol Palin, so I'm a little sensitive about tea partiers urging their crew to start calling a phone number.

  • 50. Sagesse  |  December 4, 2010 at 1:29 am

    In order to use the judge's alleged conflict on appeal, they have to object before the appeal is heard, if they want to be able to use it as grounds for appeal to SCOTUS. The request was procedural. The legal beagles will correct me if I have this wrong.

    I'd like to see Reinhardt's memorandum, because I know nothing about the circumstances where he did recuse himself, and how they're different from Perry. But also, I'm sure Proponents misrepresented Ms Ripston's 'participation' on behalf of the Plaintiffs.

    I can wait til after Monday to satisfy my curiosity, tho.

  • 51. MJFargo  |  December 4, 2010 at 1:46 am

    Yes, the motion needs to be filed, but NOM's telephone calls will be examined and sway…what? And isn't trying to influence a judge (outside the courtroom) a problem?

  • 52. Sagesse  |  December 4, 2010 at 2:36 am

    You're quite right, the judiciary does not respond to demonstrations and other protests. But if NOM is going to bombard their phone lines anyway, it can't hurt to register that there is an opposing view. And wouldn't it be delightful (not that we'll ever know) if the supporters of Judge Reinhardt outnumber the outraged NOMbies.

  • 53. MJFargo  |  December 4, 2010 at 3:32 am

    (I wasn't putting the people who called to support "No Recusal!" down in the least.) I just thought NOM's press release was so off the mark and…bullying. There.I've said it.

  • 54. Kathleen  |  December 4, 2010 at 3:54 am

    Remember, there doesn't need to be "grounds for an appeal" in a Constitutional challenge like this. The losing party can request an appeal to a higher court for nothing more than what amounts to not liking the decision. And whether or not the appeal goes beyond this level is entirely at the discretion of the respective courts.

    I suppose Proponents might be hoping to increase their chances of getting additional review (9th en banc or Supreme Court) by bringing up this issue, but I really think this is more about their larger P.R. campaign than it is for any real legally relevant reason. But then, as I've said over and over again, I'm so weak in matters of procedure.

    I, too, am looking forward to Reinhardt's memo on their motion. Maybe that's what he's doing this weekend… but then maybe he doesn't consider it a high priority and "due course" means whenever he gets around to it and has nothing better to do with his time. :)

  • 55. Dave  |  December 4, 2010 at 5:34 am

    What are the chances of an en banc review?

    Also do you think the supreme court judges have thought about this case much, about the right to appeal for the DI and the merits of the case.

  • 56. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 4, 2010 at 8:29 am

    That"s what family is all about. We look out for each other in any way we can, and in the means that are best suited to each one's personality and experience. Besides, we don't want to lose any of you until we all have full equality and can get together for several P8TT family reunions!

  • 57. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 4, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Depending upon the tactics used, not only is it unethical, but could actually lead to felony charges of tampering.

  • 58. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 4, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Or he may do a "video memo" at the beginning of the hearing on Monday?

  • 59. Steven  |  December 4, 2010 at 9:37 am

    who will do a video memo? this is oral arguments….. not trial………

  • 60. MJFargo  |  December 4, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Seems to me they thought about it rather resoundingly in the Arizona case…of course this one involves (whispering) "gays" and "lesbians" and….

  • 61. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 4, 2010 at 10:19 am

    But it will be televised, and that is how I was thinking that was how Judge Reinhart may issue his memorandum, rather than only in a written form.

  • 62. Ann S.  |  December 4, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Judges and lawyers like written stuff. He'll issue a written memo, perhaps tomorrow (Sunday).

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