National anti-gay marriage group claims bias in Prop 8 hearing

National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown
Top photo: National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown. (publicity photo)

In the days leading up to the hearing, NOM had called for Reinhardt to withdraw himself from the inquiry over his wife’s position with the ACLU.

According to NOM, Reinhardt’s wife, Ramona Ripston, advised the plaintiffs’ attorneys before the case and previously made donations to the NOH8 campaign.

The Los Angeles Times reported Reinhardt declined to recuse himself because he said he could rule “impartially.” Reinhardt is widely viewed as one of the more “liberal” members of the 9th Circuit of Appeals.

Nevertheless, NOM’s statement, issued yesterday after the hearing, acknowledged the 9th Circuit would likely vote against Prop 8’s constitutionality.

“The long road to determine the constitutionality of Proposition 8 cannot be allowed to go through the courtroom of a judge whose wife is a key participant in that case,” said Brown. “It’s obvious that Reinhardt will vote to overturn Prop 8. We can only hope that once this case reaches the U.S. Supreme Court, that the people of California will finally get an impartial day in court. When they do, we are confident that marriage as the union of one man and one woman will be vindicated.”