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Reinhardt Stands Alone On 9th Circuit's Pledge Of Allegiance 'Under God' Ruling

Publication Date: 
March 12, 2010
Dan Levine

Michele Dauber is quoted this story on 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt's ruling in the Pledge of Allegiance case. Dan Levine filed this story:

Stephen Reinhardt and Dorothy Nelson have been simpatico on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for 30 years. One former Reinhardt clerk says they have a good personal relationship.

But Nelson handed Reinhardt a bitter defeat by siding with conservative Judge Carlos Bea in an opinion upholding the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. The ruling, handed down Thursday, is the latest episode in a case that has brought scorn on the 9th Circuit from across the country, and has highlighted Reinhardt as an unapologetic -- yet increasingly solitary -- iconoclast.


President Jimmy Carter nominated both Nelson and Reinhardt to the 9th Circuit in 1979, part of a historic reshaping of the court. Stanford Law School professor Michele Dauber, who clerked for Reinhardt and has taken his oral history, says the two judges get along well.


Adds Dauber: "It doesn't take a brain surgeon -- or a professor at Stanford -- to think Judge Nelson doesn't want Glenn Beck giving out her home address so people can go picket her house."