We discussed four topics, but the meatiest was the issue about Judge Stephen Reinhardt being asked to recuse himself from hearing the Prop 8 appeal as one of the panel of three judges, because he is married to outgoing ACLU of So Cal director, Ramona Ripston. Nevermind that the ACLU of So Cal is not involved in this case. (The No Cal ACLU has filed an amicus curiae on the appeal.)
Reinhardt is one of three judges on a randomly chosen panel, by the way, so he won’t decide the case.
What is particularly laughable about the situation is that one could make a good case for recusal of one of the other judges on the panel, Randy Smith. Smith is a conservative appointed by President George W. Bush and, among other conservative activities, he served as chair of the Idaho Republican Party in the 1990s. Smith also graduated Brigham Young University and media reports this week have identified him as a Mormon.
And the Mormon Church reportedly poured millions of dollars into the effort to pass Proposition 8 in 2008.
So, should Smith recuse himself? No. Of course not.
Note to pro Prop 8 people: I’m afraid that you’re stuck having to argue the case on its merits. Sorry about that.
I’d throw a hail Mary too if I had Ted Olson and David Boise lined up against me.
But in the end, this is just the next stop on the way to the Supreme Court, where it’s all about justice Kennedy.
We also talked about Tiger Woods, the biology of cheating, and how many dogs one should be able to have in one house in our fair city.
Heck, I’m just thankful that the puppy didn’t decide to howl in the midst of the taping.