I find it fascinating when public officials are challenged by issues that put ideology in competition with their desired outcomes. Such appears the case with the three-judge panel’s consideration of Proposition 8.
One would typically expect liberal judge Stephen Reinhardt to side with the argument that extra-governmental parties (such as the pro-Prop 8 group ProtectMarriage) have standing to challenge a judge’s ruling. Progressives generally take an expansive view of access to the legal system. However, it’s also safe to assume that judge Reinhardt supports same-sex marriage. How will he deal with those competing issues?
On the other side, you’ve got conservative judge Randy Smith. He’d be expected to take a more limited view of who has standing, but might think differently in this case, if he’s against same-sex marriage.
So where will these two judges come down on standing and the factual ruling from the district judge? Most importantly, how will probable swing vote judge Michael Hawkins rule? We’ll likely have several months to ponder the questions.