Orin Kerr of the Volokh Conspiracy has penned a novel take on the Ninth Circuit review panel which includes Judge Stephen Reinhardt, “the most-reversed Court of Appeals judge in the land.” As Kerr points out, Reinhardt’s liberal leanings are good for Prop 8 opponents at the appellate level but bad in the end game:
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 hell likely be involved in the panel decision probably hurts opponents of Prop 8 in the long run.
While it would be nice to imagine that a losing track record plays as big a role as Kerr suggests, it’s absurd. The idea that because Justices “love” to reverse Reinhardt will have any impact on the decision of whether to acknowledge civil rights held by millions of Americans is reaching at best. To suggest that a grudge (if it is that at all) would affect the most important ruling of the 21st century is asinine.
Via the Volokh Conspiracy.