9th Circuit's Kozinski Faces Misconduct Charges Involving Porn

9th Circuit's Kozinski Faces Misconduct Charges Involving Porn
Rhett Pardon

SAN FRANCISCO — For Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the misconduct charges might sound familiar.

On Friday, six women said Kozinski, one of the federal judicial system’s most prominent appellate judges who has sat on the bench for 32 years, had “subjected them to a range of inappropriate sexual conduct or comments” over the years, as recently as 2012, The Washington Post reported.

One clerk repeatedly showed her pornographic images on his computer and asked if she was sexually aroused by them, the Post said.

It’s not the first time misconduct charges — pornographic in nature — have been levied against Kozinski, who is known for his libertarian views and his lively opinions.

In 2008, Kozinskly stepped down from the bench in the Ira Isaacs obscenity case after three days of trial. At the time, he acknowledged that he had posted sexually explicit material on a publicly accessible personal website.

"In light of the public controversy surrounding my involvement in this case, I have concluded that there is a manifest necessity to declare a mistrial," Kozinski wrote at the time. "I will recuse myself from further participation in the case and will ask the chief judge of the district court to reassign it to another judge."

As a result, Kozinski suspended the trial of Isaacs to allow the prosecutor to explore what he saw as "a potential conflict of interest concerning the court having a … sexually explicit website with similar material to what is on trial here."

Isaacs, at the time, noted he was disappointed Kozinski was no longer the judge.

"I thought he was a fair judge," he said in 2008. "I feel terrible that my trial caused this information to come out."

Isaacs, who spent six years defending against obscenity charges in three trials (two were mistrials, including the Kozinski mistrial), eventually was convicted on five counts by a jury in Los Angeles. He turned himself in to federal correctional officials in 2014 and was released earlier this year.

In 2008, Kozinski had acknowledged posting the images but said he believed it was a private storage area that could not be accessed by the public.

Kozinski, at the time, said that some of the material was inappropriate but defended some items as funny. He said he must have uploaded some of the material by accident.

Later, he blocked access to the site, Alex.Kozinski.com.

 
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