Reinhardt [refuses] to disqualify himself [even though] his wife, Ramona Ripston, is the longtime executive director of the Southern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Ms. Ripstone and her group took “a lead role” in opposing Prop 8 and even assisted the plaintiffs “in this very case” Judge Reinhardt will hear, argued Protectmarriage.com and its allies.
Moreover, they said, federal law requires judges to recuse themselves if their spouses would be affected by the outcome of a case.
Judge Reinhardt promised he would file a memo “in due course” about his reasons for not stepping down. The hearing before the three-judge panel is scheduled for Monday in San Francisco.