The judicial panel for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals hearing in the Prop 8 challenge has been announced. The judges are Michael D. Hawkins, and N. Randy Smith, and Stephen Reinhardt.
Writes conservative legal analyst Ed Whelan at the National Review:
"As regular Bench Memos readers know, Reinhardt (appointed by President Carter in 1980) may well be the most aggressive liberal judicial activist in the nation—and the most reversed judge in history. Hawkins, a 1994 Clinton appointee, is also regularly on the Left on the Ninth Circuit. Smith, who was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2007, is much more of a judicial conservative. With two hard-core liberals, the panel is a fairly typical Ninth Circuit draw—which is to say, a bad one for supporters of Prop 8."
Tweets Reuters reporter Dan Levine:
"9th circuit panel for #prop8 is out: Reinhardt, Hawkins and NR Smith. So it will likely go 2-1 affirming Judge Walker's ruling… Reinhardt is such a lightning rod, I bet the Gibson Dunn legal team isn't so happy he wound up on their #prop8 panel…"