Ah, Reinhardt

As Dale notes below, the randomly chosen panel of the Ninth Circuit that will be hearing the Prop 8 case includes Stephen Reinhardt, the most-reversed Court of Appeals judge in the land. I’m reminded of this famous line from Casablanca:

Michael Hawkins is also on the panel, and in my experience he pretty reliably votes with Reinhardt. So as Dale says, this is good news for opponents of Prop 8 at least in the short term.

At the same time, I would think it is bad news for opponents of Prop 8 in the long term. It goes without saying that Reinhardt will vote the liberal way, and he’ll likely have Hawkins with him. But the word “Reinhardt” is radioactive at 1 First Street. Reinhardt writes like there is no Supreme Court, and as a result his opinions have a remarkable ability to annoy the Justices. In return, the Supreme Court loves to reverse Reinhardt. They love to reverse opinions he signs, and they love to reverse opinions he participates in. So the fact that he’ll likely be involved in the panel decision probably hurts opponents of Prop 8 in the long run.