Judge Stephen Reinhardt, a liberal stalwart on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for nearly four decades, died Thursday in Southern California. He was 87.
Reinhardt died of a heart attack during a visit to a dermatologist in Los Angeles, court spokesman David Madden said.
"As a judge, he was deeply principled, fiercely passionate about the law and 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 bench."
Reinhardt was appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 and went on to become the sixth longest-serving judge on the court.