REINHARDT, STEPHEN R. (1931–), U.S. federal judge. Born in New York City, he received his bachelor's degree from Pomona College in 1951 and he graduated from Yale Law School in 1954. Reinhardt served in the U.S. Air Force General Counsel's Office from 1954 to 1956. He was law clerk to Judge Luther W. Youngdahl of the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia from 1956 to 1957, then entered private
Judge Reinhardt ruled in several controversial cases, gaining a reputation as a liberal jurist. In Phinpathya v. Immigration and Naturalization Service (1981), he reversed and remanded the Board of Immigration Appeals' denial of an application for suspension of deportation, concluding that the Board erred in its finding that the petitioner had failed to meet the "continuous physical presence" requirement because of a three-month visit to Thailand to aid her sick mother. The Supreme Court reversed the decision, holding that the three-month visit did not fall within the exceptions to the requirement of continuous presence. In Orhorhaghe v. Immigration and Naturalization Service (1994), Reinhardt, writing for the panel, ruled that the Immigration and Naturalization Service's seizure of an alien based solely on a foreign-sounding name was a violation of the Fourth Amendment that warranted the suppression of the evidence of illegal status acquired in the course of the seizure.
Other controversial cases involved the right to die and restrictions on assault weapons. In Compassion in Dying v. Washington (1996), Judge Reinhardt, writing for the court, ruled that a Washington statute that imposed a criminal penalty on persons assisting in an attempted suicide violated the Fourth Amendment's due process clause. The Supreme Court reversed the decision in 1997. In Silveira v. Lockyer, which challenged California's restrictions on assault weapons, he ruled that the Second Amendment guarantees a collective right to bear arms but does not guarantee an individual's right to do so.
Reinhardt served in numerous professional organizations. He served on the California Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from 1962 to 1974, and as its vice chairman from 1969 to 1974. A member of the American Bar Association, he was cochairman of the Committee on Labor Arbitration and Law of Collective Bargaining Agreements from 1967 to 1973. He was a member of the Committee on Legislation of the California Bar Association from 1973 to 1977 and of the Labor Law Section of the Los Angeles Bar Association from 1974 to 1980. In 1998 Judge Reinhardt received the Champion of Justice Award from the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.