9th Circuit Court of Appeals judge Stephen Reinhardt dies at 87
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Judge Stephen Reinhardt, a judge on the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and a champion of liberal causes on the court, died Thursday at the age of 87.

A court spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that Reinhardt was at a dermatologist's office when he died unexpectedly Thursday afternoon.

Reinhardt, who was appointed by former President Carter in 1980, served on one of the country's most notoriously liberal courts, issuing many prominent decisions during his tenure including a 2012 decision striking down California's ban on same-sex marriage.


“All parties agree that Proposition 8 had one effect only,” he wrote in 2012. “It stripped same-sex couples of the ability they previously had possessed to obtain from the state, or any other authorized party, an important right — the right to obtain and use the designation of ‘marriage’ to describe their relationships. Nothing more, nothing less.”

Reinhardt also came into conflict with the Trump administration in recent months, declaring last year that young undocumented immigrants who are unaccompanied have the right to periodic bond hearings as well as a separate decision calling an order to deport a Mexican man "inhumane."

“It is difficult to see how the government’s decision to expel him is consistent with the President’s promise of an immigration system with ‘a lot of heart,’ ” the liberal justice wrote last year. “I find no such compassion in the government’s choice to deport Magana Ortiz.”

Reinhardt's death creates another opening on the judiciary for the Trump administration, which has pushed to fill a number of judicial vacancies that began during the previous administration as the GOP-led Senate refused to confirm Obama nominees.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Trump threatens to veto defense bill over tech liability shield Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump MORE himself referenced this gap in the judiciary on Thursday during an infrastructure speech in Ohio.

“When I got in, we had over 100 federal judges that weren’t appointed,” Trump said. “I don’t know why Obama left that. It was like a big, beautiful present to all of us. Why the hell did he leave that?"

"Maybe he got complacent," Trump added.