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The opinion by Judge Reinhardt is not a panel opinion of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. It is solely his opinion acting as a hearing officer for the Federal Public Defenders in the Central District of California. It is unclear whether the agency in question will appeal this opinion of a single judge. No other judge in the country has ever come close to suggesting that DOMA is unconstitutional. Judge Reinhardt once wrote an editorial in the Los Angeles Times criticizing President Bill Clinton for not being more aggressive in appointing homosexual judges.
It is unlikely that the Obama administration's Department of Justice will intervene to defend the federal DOMA. Regardless of whether the DOJ intervenes to reverse this opinion, the ruling by Judge Reinhardt has no precedential value. Except for this circumstance, the federal DOMA remains in full effect. The federal DOMA has two provisions. The first states that for federal law purposes marriage is the union of one man and one woman. This is the section the opinion addresses. The second provision provides that the states do not have to give recognition to an out-of-state same-sex union. This latter provision permits states to adopt their own marriage policies by affirming traditional marriage and rejecting same-sex "marriage."
Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: "The American people have had their fill of activist judges. Activist judges make a mockery of the law and bring disrespect to the judicial process. An opinion of an activist judge based on nothing else than his personal bias is no law at all and commands no respect. As the Founding Fathers would say, such a ruling is no law at all, and is as if it had never happened."