Reinhardt to NOMmies: women have their own minds

Timothy Kincaid

January 5th, 2011

The National Organization for Marriage’s Maggie Gallagher was not happy when Justice Reinhardt was selected as part of the panel to hear the Perry v. Schwarzenegger appeal. She insisted that he recuse himself because his wife, Ramona Ripston, heads the ACLU in Southern California and supports marriage equality:

The entity that Ripston heads took part as counsel to an amicus in this very case in the district court.
According to media reports including those in the Los Angeles Times and respected legal blog, Reinhardt has a policy of recusing himself from cases involving the ACLU of Southern California.

In addition to the clear legal reasons that Judge Reinhardt is required to disqualify himself from this case, there are other circumstances that clearly call his impartiality into question:

· Ripston, Reinhardt’s wife, contributed money to the NO on Proposition 8 campaign. It is not known if these funds were joint or separate funds.
· Ripston publicly cheered the decision by the District Court to declare Proposition 8 unconstitutional. In a media statement, she said, “We rejoice at today’s decision but there’s a long road ahead toward establishing true marriage equality for same-sex couples.”

Reinhardt declined. And yesterday he clarified his reasoning:

My wife’s views, public or private, as to any issues that may come before this court, constitutional or otherwise, are of no consequence. She is a strong, independent woman who has long fought for the principle, among others, that women should be evaluated on their own merits and not judged in any way by the deeds or position in life of their husbands (and vice versa). I share that view and, in my opinion, it reflects the status of the law generally, as well as the law of recusal, regardless of whether the spouse or the judge is the male or the female.

Gosh, I guess the Little Lady has views of her own.

Naturally, conservatives like Ed Whelan don’t find Reinhardt’s explanations to be adequate. For me, I’ll wait until the case reaches the Supreme Court to judge the integrity of Whelan’s complaint. Should he demand that Scalia recuse himself due to his son’s advocacy on this issue then I’ll believe that Whelan is a man of integrity; otherwise this is but more results-driven posturing masquerading as principle.


January 5th, 2011

Do not forget Virginia Thomas, wife of Clarence Thomas, who has advocated for numerous conservative causes.


January 5th, 2011

Like that tiny case known as Citizens United.


January 5th, 2011

Scalia has other issues to content with. Like telling people at a conference that gays aren’t protected by the 14th Amendment.

He’s already decided the case before it get to his bench.


January 5th, 2011

The reality is, you’ll have to look long and hard to find a judge on either side of this issue and most others that hasn’t already made up his or her mind. I think the idea of an impartial court was forever thrown out during Bush v Gore, when the five conservative justices stopped a recount and elected Bush as President.


January 6th, 2011

“Should he demand that Scalia recuse himself due to his son’s advocacy on this issue then I’ll believe that Whelan is a man of integrity. . . .”

Don’t hold your breath. Scalia has a history of not recusing himself when there are apparent conflicts of interest. And Whelan won’t let out a peep about it.

Emily K

January 6th, 2011

If Maggie believed her own rhetoric about the influence of spouses, she would “recuse herself” from ever speaking about “Biblical Marriage” since Mrs. Srivastav is unequally yoked to a Hindu.


January 6th, 2011

The issue is not that Reinhardt influences his wife’s thinking. It is that Ripston influences her husband’s thinking. So, it is just as important for Reinhardt to assert that he has views of his own. Which I think he has done.

At the same time, we are naive to believe that spouses do not influence each other in all sorts of ways. Most couples I know have figured out what is acceptable and what is off-limits.


January 6th, 2011

“If Maggie believed her own rhetoric about the influence of spouses, she would “recuse herself” from ever speaking about “Biblical Marriage” since Mrs. Srivastav is unequally yoked to a Hindu.”

Really? How does she pass muster with other religious right people then? I’m curious, because from what I’ve heard on the subject from a large number of the Fundamentalist and/or Pentecostal Christians that I’ve known, it’s a Big Bad thing for a Christian (especially a woman) to be married to a non-Christian.

Or even to date one, for that matter.

Personally, as long as two people can find a way to deal with their issues I don’t care WHAT religions they believe in…but this is not a common stance among the Fundamentally Religious.

They usually argue that not only should both partners be Christians, but even the same kind of Christian.

Emily K

January 6th, 2011

BlackDog, easy. She uses her maiden name (despite being married) hides her Indian husband from public view (despite touting heterosexual marriage as the Greatest Thing On Earth) and relies on the bigots’ philosophy of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” They do the same thing in working with Mormons, whom they widely believe are non-christian cultists.


January 6th, 2011

“They do the same thing in working with Mormons, whom they widely believe are non-christian cultists.”

I’ve noted that, and of course not all Hindu groups are gay-friendly. I hesitate to split hairs on what constitutes a Christian, because I’ve seen the “Cult” moniker hung on Catholics, Jehovah Witnesses, Seventh Day Aventists, etc. All ARE Christian splinter groups, and once you start that you can’t stop it, it’s that inquisition mentality. I’ve studied the same Bible with Rastafarians that I studied with Baptists, and the lessons were recognizeable enough to me.

But I think it’s funny how on the one hand they tout the absolute superiority of Fundamentalist Protestant Christianity, yet when it really comes down to it they will work with ANYBODY that’ll advance their agenda.

I really believe that in the unlikely event of that part of Revelation is true, these Fundamentalists and rightwing authoritarian types would even work with the AntiChrist himself. If he promised them what they wanted and gave them some of it, they’d hail him as their savior.

They say one thing in public, another to their followers, and in private do something else entirely. It must get old, having to change faces that much.

I’m no saint, but I pretty much try to treat everybody the same, and like I’d want to be treated. It’s just easier than having to remember what I said to Person X on Day Y and hide this and hide that. I can BS people if the need is there, I just find it easier not to, and it’s better for the soul. Plus, I have a bad memory, if you’re professional bullshitter that’s a bad thing.

These people seem to have no principles, when it really comes down to it. Like I said about Scott Lively, their religion seems to be “What can *I* get out of this?”


January 7th, 2011

But it is alright for Supreme Court Justice Thomas’ wife to head up a Tea Party organization?

Regan DuCasse

January 7th, 2011

NOM complained about Justice Walker and literally committed libel the way they describe him as somehow corrupted, and unqualified, especially because of his orientation.
By THEIR logic, then the lives of gay citizens being decided in courts, shouldn’t have straight judges?
Women aren’t a commiserate percentage of the judiciary, but women’s lives are decided on by MEN on the bench.

They also complained about the justices in IA too.

Rienhardt’s wife, is a CIVIL RIGHTS advocate. And civil courts are civil courts, not religious or gender bound ones.
NOM Is notorious for invoking THEIR civil rights, but no one else’s.

I would say that a justice, connected by family, to civil rights advocacy for individuals is very different from say, being financially connected to big businesses that are known to be corrupt.
Even if someone were ‘biased’ in favor of equal treatment under the law, what’s the problem?

I’ve put that question out there, in fact: since when and where has a society, nation or individuals EVER been damaged or suffered from equal justice, rights and protections?

Know what? Our opposition NEVER answers it, and you my friends ALWAYS know the answer to that.


January 7th, 2011

I hesitate to split hairs on what constitutes a Christian, because I’ve seen the “Cult” moniker hung on Catholics, Jehovah Witnesses, Seventh Day Aventists, etc. All ARE Christian splinter groups, and once you start that you can’t stop it, it’s that inquisition mentality.

I hate to split hairs as well, but Catholics are NOT a Christian splinter group by any stretch of the imagination. They are a minority in the US, but that is due to Europe’s export of religious extremists who ended up being the earliest settlers.


January 8th, 2011

Actually, I should’ve put the Catholics in a seperate category as technically protestants splintered off from them before splintering further themselves, but the point is, I’ve still heard Fundies call the Catholic Church a cult once or twice. I’ve even seen it in a book or two.

When someone I knew did that, I felt it necessary to point out that the Bible they were reading was originally compiled by the Roman church,etc. but that just caused an argument that didn’t get anywhere.

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