Judge Stephen Reinhardt listens to arguments of gay marriage bans in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, Sept. 8, 2014.
Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, died on Thursday in Southern California, a spokesman for the court confirmed. He was 87.
Reinhardt died of a heart attack, during a visit to a skin doctor in Los Angeles, the spokesman of the court said.
“As a judge, he was a very principled, hard, passionate about the law and is fearless in his decisions,” 9th Circuit chief judge Sidney Thomas said in a statement. “He will be remembered as one of the giants of the Federal Bank.”
Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles, called Reinhardt, “one of the greatest legal scholars of our time. A burnt brilliant Angeleno and true progressive icon.”
Today, we mourn the loss of one of the greatest lawyers of our time. A burnt brilliant Angeleno and true progressive icon, judge Stephen Reinhardt understood that the law exists to protect the dumb and weak. We need more judges like Stephen Reinhardt.
Mayor Eric Garcetti (@MayorOfLA) 30. March 2018
Reinhardt was appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, and the sixth longest-serving judge on the court.
Reinhardt was a liberal veteran of the Bank, which he used to try to help the underdog, including immigrants and minorities, The Los Angeles Times reported.
Last year, he wrote in an opinion that a Trump administration, the deportation of a man who entered the country illegally nearly three decades and a respected business man, was in Hawaii “inhumane” and “contrary to the values of the country and its legal system.”
In 2012, he wrote in a statement, the California gay marriage proposed ban. He also wrote the 1996 opinion that struck down a Washington state law that prohibited doctors from prescribing drugs to help the terminally terminally ill patients.
“He was a giant-not only in the 9th Circuit, but in the framework of the law,” University of California, Berkeley law school Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, The Times said. “He was also a judge with a particular vision of the law, based on the enforcement of the Constitution, to protect people.”
It was decided under the Federal judges that the overcrowding in California’s penal system was unconstitutional.
Reinhardt, another judge in the judgment entered, that the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional, a decision later repealed.
Hector Villagra, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and a former Reinhardt clerk, called Reinhardt’s death “devastating”, The Times reported.
He recalled the judge’s work in his chambers at 11 am on a Saturday, a contradiction to the decision of the court does not write to appeal to rehear a death penalty.
“He knew it was completely pointless,” said Villagra. “It was not to affect the result. But it was the right thing to do, and that is what counts. He wanted his voice heard and his objections.”
After he served two years in the U.S. Air Force, Reinhardt as a clerk for a Federal judge in the District of Columbia, then in private practice in Los Angeles. He served on the Los Angeles police Commission from 1975 until his appointment at 9. Circuit.
He was born in the year 1931 in New York. His grandfather fled Nazi Germany, the vigilant, inspired Reinhardt “reported to be in the protection of human rights”, The Times.
Reinhardt is survived by his wife, Ramona Ripston, is a former Director of the ACLU of Southern California; three adult children, Markus Reinhardt, 57, a professor of political science at Williams College; Justin Reinhardt, 52, a musician; and Dana Reinhardt, 47, a novelist; and seven grandchildren.
His family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations in Reinhardt’s memory to the ACLU, BuzzFeed News reported.
His death is a new vacancy at the 9. Circuit, the President Trump will now fill in the location, with its own candidates, the report said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Amy Lieu is a news editor and a reporter for Fox News.