|Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit|
September 11, 1980 – March 29, 2018
|Appointed by||Jimmy Carter|
|Preceded by||Seat established by 92 Stat. 1629|
|Succeeded by||Kenneth K. Lee|
Stephen Roy Shapiro
March 27, 1931
New York City, New York
|Died||March 29, 2018 (aged 87)|
Los Angeles, California
|Education||Pomona College (B.A.)|
Yale Law School (LL.B.)
Stephen Roy Reinhardt (born Stephen Roy Shapiro; March 27, 1931 – March 29, 2018) was a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, with chambers in Los Angeles, California. He was the last federal appeals court judge in active service to have been appointed by President Jimmy Carter.
Early life, education, and practice
Reinhardt was born Stephen Roy Shapiro into a Jewish family in New York City, to lawyer Samuel Shapiro, and Silvia Handelsman. Reinhardt changed his name after his mother divorced his father and married film director and producer Gottfried Reinhardt. Reinhardt graduated from University High School in Los Angeles. He enrolled in Pomona College and graduated three years later with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government in 1951. In 1954, he received a Bachelor of Laws from Yale Law School.
After law school, Reinhardt worked at the legal counsel's office for the United States Air Force as a lieutenant in Washington, D.C. Two years later, he clerked for United States District Judge Luther Youngdahl, a former governor of Minnesota, of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. He then entered private practice, working for the law firm O'Melveny & Myers from 1958 to 1959 practicing entertainment law. After two years at O'Melveny, he began working at a small firm in Los Angeles that became Fogel, Julber, Reinhardt, Rothschild & Feldman, specializing in labor law.
Reinhardt served as a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, California Advisory Committee from 1962 to 1974 and was its vice chairman from 1969 to 1974. He also served as member of the Democratic National Committee and as an unpaid advisor to former Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley and California governor Jerry Brown. In 1975 he was appointed to the Los Angeles Police Commission, which he chaired from 1978 until his judicial confirmation in 1980.
Federal judicial service
Reinhardt was nominated by President Jimmy Carter on November 30, 1979, to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, to a new seat authorized by 92 Stat. 1629. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 11, 1980, and received his commission on September 11, 1980. His service terminated on March 29, 2018, due to his death.
Reinhardt continued his public service as Secretary of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Amateur Athletic Foundation.
Reinhardt's mother divorced his father and married movie director Gottfried Reinhardt, the son of director Max Reinhardt. Stephen Reinhardt was married to Ramona Ripston, who was Executive Director of the ACLU of Southern California until her February 2011 retirement. They had three children.
All of us here at the Ninth Circuit are shocked and deeply saddened by Judge Reinhardt’s death. We have lost a great friend and colleague. As a judge, he was deeply principled, fiercely passionate about the law and fearless in his decisions. He will be remembered as one of the giants of the federal bench. He had a great life that ended much too soon.
Shortly before his death, Reinhardt had authored an opinion in the case Yovino v. Rizo, which was not officially issued until April 9, 2018. The Ninth Circuit still counted his vote in the case, without which the opinion would only have been joined by 5 of the 10 sitting Justices. On February 25, 2019 the Supreme Court issued a per curiam opinion reversing that decision. It stated that the Ninth Circuit had "effectively allowed a deceased judge to exercise the judicial power of the United States after his death. But federal judges are appointed for life, not for eternity."
Reinhardt was known as one of the most liberal judges on the courts of appeals. His decisions were "reversed more often than most" judges before the Supreme Court. In 2003, Reinhardt admitted that he "was a liberal from a very young age." "I think I was born that way", he said. However, he did not believe that a Supreme Court reversal meant that his opinion was wrong or that he didn't follow the law. "The Supreme Court changes the law regularly. And this Supreme Court - which is the most activist Court there has ever been - is constantly changing the law. So if you really are faithful to the law, you're likely to get reversed because it [the Court] has cut back on rights." His reversal rate did not affect his status as a feeder judge—between 2009 and 2013, he placed six of his clerks on the Supreme Court, tied for the tenth highest number during the same time period.
Reinhardt's former clerk, Cornell law professor Michael Dorf said that when Reinhardt "believes himself clearly bound by Supreme Court precedent with which he disagrees, he states his disagreement but follows the precedent." Dorf accounts for Reinhardt's reversal rate by stating that "Reinhardt resolves cases under existing precedent as he believes those precedents should be read, without regard to whether five or more Justices of the Supreme Court are likely to reverse him."
Reinhardt rejected originalism, and believed the Constitution could bring justice to everyone, especially the underprivileged. Reinhardt was also a cynic and a pragmatist as well as a liberal lion. In May 2017, Reinhardt admitted he could not stop a deportation, and said he had to allow it as a judge, although he would not as a citizen. Reinhardt also criticized the Trump administration in that opinion. 
Examples of opinions he wrote for the Ninth Circuit that were reversed are:
- Safeco Insurance Co. of America v. Burr, 127 S.Ct. 2201 (2007)
- Gonzales v. Carhart, 127 S.Ct. 1610 (2007)
- Ayers v. Belmontes, 127 S.Ct. 469 (2006)
- Garcetti v. Ceballos, 126 S.Ct. 1951 (2006)
- Texaco Inc. v. Dagher, 547 U.S. 1 (2006)
- Pliler v. Ford, 542 U.S. 225 (2002)
- Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Echazabal, 536 U.S. 73 (2002)
- United States v. Arvizu, 534 U.S. 266 (2002)
- Major League Baseball Players Ass'n v. Garvey, 532 U.S. 504 (2001)
- Albertson's, Inc. v. Kirkingburg, 527 U.S. 555 (1999)
- Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702 (1997)
- Lambert v. Wicklund, 520 U.S. 292 (1997)
- United States v. Armstrong, 517 U.S. 456 (1997)
- I.N.S. v. Abudu, 485 U.S. 94 (1988)
- Heckler v. Lopez, 463 U.S. 1328 (1983)
The following are some of his more notable judicial opinions:
- Cardoza-Fonseca v. U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service', 767 F.2d 1448 (9th Cir. 1985).
- The INS had conflated two different routes for seeking asylum and had improperly rejected an application made under one route based on the requirements of the second. This decision was upheld by the Supreme Court.
- Coleman v. Risley, 839 F.2d 434 (9th Cir. 1988).
- Standard to obtain asylum.
- Yniguez v. Arizonans for Official English, 939 F.2d 727 (9th Cir. 1991), adopted en banc, 69 F.3d 920 (9th Cir 1995).
- The English-only provision in the Arizona constitution was overly broad and violated the First Amendment right of free speech. This decision was vacated by the Supreme Court as moot because plaintiff Yniguez had voluntarily left the employment of the State of Arizona the day after the appeal was filed. 530 US 43. Justice Ginsburg's unanimous opinion for the Court also took a swipe at the Ninth Circuit for failing to certify this question to the state courts, holding that "A more cautious approach was in order. In addition, footnote 11 of Justice Ginsburg's decision chides the Ninth Circuit for failing to recognize that state courts are not bound by decisions of federal courts (except the Supreme Court), even on questions of federal law.
- Sanders v. Ratelle, 21 F.3d 1446 (9th Cir. 1994).
- The Sixth Amendment right to counsel can be infringed if counsel has a conflict of interest, even if the defendant has waived the conflict.
- Compassion in Dying v. Washington, 79 F.3d 790 (9th Cir. 1996) (en banc).
- A statute prohibiting doctors from prescribing life-ending medication for the terminally ill violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Supreme Court reversed the Ninth Circuit in Washington v. Glucksberg (1997).
- Ma v. Reno, 208 F.3d 815 (9th Cir. 2000).
- An alien cannot be held indefinitely in detention in the absence of a repatriation agreement with his or her country of origin.
- Silveira v. Lockyer, 312 F.3d 1052 (9th Cir. 2002).
- The right to bear arms is a collective right, not an individual right. This ruling was overruled by the Supreme Court in D.C. v. Heller (2008).
- United States v. Approximately 64,695 Pounds of Shark Fins (9th Cir. 2008) .
- Forfeiture of the shark fins was denied on the grounds that, although according to the Shark Finning Prohibition Act of 2000 any shark fins found aboard a fishing vessel without a corresponding shark carcass may be deemed the product of illegal harvesting, the vessel from which the fins were seized was not in fact a fishing vessel within the meaning of the act. The fins had been harvested by, and bought from, other vessels.
- In The Matter of Brad Levenson (2009) .
- In his role as Chair of the Ninth Circuit’s Standing Committee on Federal Public Defenders, Reinhardt ruled that the application of the Defense of Marriage Act in denying health insurance benefits to Levenson's same-sex spouse violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
In 2003, Reinhardt dissented when a 2-1 majority found that Arnulfo Gradilla did not have job protection when he was fired for taking a few days off to care for his wife, who had a serious heart condition.
Reinhardt issued a blistering dissent: “This case exemplifies compassionless conservatism. The majority reads the California Family Rights Act, a statute designed to afford a minimal amount of humane and decent treatment to working people with families, as if it were a rigid code intended to limit their rights . . . . That a poor, hardworking, Hispanic man, struggling to support his family by performing manual labor could be fired by his employer under the circumstances of this case is almost unimaginable. That a court could reach the decision the majority does here is even more incomprehensible.” 
On May 11, 2009, Reinhardt joined a 101 page dissent written by William A. Fletcher when the 9th circuit refused to rehear a death penalty case en banc. Fletcher reasoned that they might be about to execute an innocent man, he was not given proper counsel, and his race may have been a factor in the death sentence. Reinhardt also wrote another dissenting opinion, where he mentioned that the vote was really close and suggested the 9th circuit disclose the names of judges who vote for and against en banc rehearing of cases.
In 2012, Reinhardt joined an opinion (written by Jay Bybee) that Joe Arpaio is not immune under the 1st, 4th, and 14th Amendments. 
Reinhardt had participated and wrote an opinion on an en banc hearing for Yovino v. Rizo prior to his death, though the final decision of the Ninth Circuit was not reported until 11 days after his death, which Reinhardt's vote supporting the majority decision. The case was petitioned to the Supreme Court, which vacated and remanded the case back to the Ninth Circuit stating that Reinhardt's vote should not be considered as such votes only become finalized when the decision is reported. The Supreme Court stated in a per curium decision that "Federal judges are appointed for life, not for eternity."
On March 17, 2017, Reinhardt wrote a concurring opinion in the denial of en banc after the 9th circuit blocked Trump's asylum restrictions. The 9th circuit was later overturned by the Supreme Court in Trump v. Hawaii. 
United States v. Martinez-Lopez (7/28/2017): On July 28, 2017, Reinhardt dissented when an en banc panel permitted multiple convictions for a single offense with multiple drugs. He wrote that the multiple convictions for a single offense were a violation of California's multiple convictions code. He was joined by Sidney Runyan Thomas. Marsha S. Berzon also issued a dissent, which Reinhardt and Thomas joined to all except part 4. Jay Bybee also issued a dissent. 
On October 10, 2017, Reinhardt joined an opinion that declared the 2nd amendment did not give the right to sell firearms. 
Saldivar v. Sessions (11/7/2017): Reinhardt wrote that any alien that has been in America for 7 years cannot be deported, in a 2-1 decision. Reinhardt was joined by Kim McLane Wardlaw, over the dissent of Alex Kozinski. 
Hernandez v. Chappell (12/29/2017): Reinhardt ruled that Hernandez was mentally ill and therefore could not be executed. 
Dai v. Sessions (3/8/2018): In Reinhardt's last opinion not reversed by the Supreme Court, Reinhardt wrote an opinion granting Ming Dai asylum relief. Reinhardt wrote that the board had erred in saying Dai's wife had voluntarily returned to China was fully based on Dai's fear of persecution, and that Dai may have had additional reasons beyond escaping persecution for staying in the United States, including seeking economic opportunity. Reinhardt was joined by Sidney Runyan Thomas, for a 2-1 majority against the dissent of Senior Circuit Judge Stephen S. Trott. The 9th circuit denied an en banc rehearing by a 16-11 party line vote on October 22, 2019. 
Reinhardt received the following awards:
- 1987 Appellate Judge of the Year by the California Trial Lawyers Association
- 1993 St. Thomas More Medallion Award by Loyola Law School
- 1993 Donald Wright Award by the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
- 1995 Appellate Justice of the Year by the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles
- 1998 Champion of Justice: Legal Award by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- 2004 Award for Judicial Excellence by the Idaho Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- 2004 Meritorious Service Award by the University of Oregon Law School
- Dolan, Maura. "Stephen Reinhardt, 'liberal lion' of the 9th Circuit, dies at 87". latimes.com.
- "A Prominent Liberal Judge From The 9th Circuit Court Has Died At 87". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
- Washington Post: ""Mondoweiss" is a hate site (Update)" by David Bernstein May 4, 2015
- Roberts, Sam (2 April 2018). "Stephen Reinhardt, Liberal Lion of Federal Court, Dies at 87". The New York Times.
- Stephen Reinhardt at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
- "Reinhardt to give Antonio the oath". LA Observed. 2005-06-30. Retrieved 2006-06-14.[dead link]
- "Ramona Ripston, Executive Director, ACLU of Southern California Appointed to the State Commission on Judicial Performance". ACLU of Southern California. 1998-07-20. Archived from the original on 2006-05-01. Retrieved 2006-06-14.
- "Stephen Reinhardt, liberal circuit court judge, dies at 87". WHEC News10NBC. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
- "Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt Dies" (Press release). Ninth Circuit Public Information Office. March 29, 2018. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
- Farnsworth, Ward (2006). "The Role of Law in Close Cases: Some Evidence From the Federal Courts of Appeals". Boston University Law Review. 86. pp. 1083, 1090.
- Blum, Bill (2003-02) The Last Liberal, California Lawyer Archived October 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- Stras, David (Fall 2014). "Secret Agents: Using Law Clerks Effectively". Marquette Law Review. 98: 157.
- Dorf, Michael (2010-12-02) Hail to the Chief Justice of the Warren Court in Exile, Dorf on Law
- Williams, Pete (February 25, 2019). "Supreme Court rules judges might serve for life, but not eternity". NBC News. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
- "Oregon Supreme Court Justice Will Address 2004 UO Law Commencement". University of Oregon. 2004-05-12. Archived from the original on 2006-09-03. Retrieved 2006-06-14.
- Stephen Reinhardt at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
Seat established by 92 Stat. 1629
| Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Kenneth K. Lee