Thursday, June 12, 2008

Judge Says His Sex Photos Are Natural and Have Social Value.

Los Angeles obscenity trial has been suspended after a newspaper ran a story claiming the Chief Judge in the case had posted sexually explicit photographs and videos on his own web site.
Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals suspended a hearing over which he was presiding while the prosecution and defence looked into his hard disk.

Judge Alex Kozinski leads the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, one of the nation's largest and most prestigious legal assignments. For years, the judge has drawn notice for his wide-ranging, irreverent intellect and his vocal support for the First Amendment.

Born in Romania as the son of two Holocaust survivors, Kozinski emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 12. His career was very successful. The Romanian immigrant was named to the bench by President Ronald Reagan in 1985, when he was 35 years old. Since then, Kozinski has made appearances on short lists of candidates for the Supreme Court, as well as a legal blog contest seeking "the #1 male super hottie" of the federal judiciary. Kozinski nominated himself for the latter post, and he won.

One picture in question was of nude women on all fours painted to look like cows. Another video on the site showed a semi-naked man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal.
To be fair to Kozinski, it is clear he didn’t think that the pictures could be seen by the public,. He also did not believe any of the images on the site qualified as obscene.
However the matter is a little important when it comes to a trial Kozinski is sitting on.
This is the case of Ira Isaacs, a Los Angeles-based filmmaker accused of selling criminally obscene sexual fetish videos depicting bestiality and defecation.
Even Isaccs admits his videos are a bit extreme, but claims he is a "shock artist" who claim the flicks would have artistic merits.

Kozinski defended himself, saying that, even though some of the material was inappropriate, he considered most of the videos funny, rather than obscene. He also declared he thought the content on his website was private and had no idea it could be seen by the public.
"Is it prurient? I don't know what to tell you," he told the Times. "I think it's odd and interesting. It's part of life."
One video on Kozinski’s website showed a half-naked man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal, while a photo was of nude women on all fours painted to look like cows. The judge characterized the latter as "degrading ... and just gross" and said he would delete some of the material from his site.

The son of Alex Kozinski, says he maintained the website with sexually explicit pictures that was shared by his father.
Among the content on the site was a photo of a naked woman on all fours painted to look like cows and a video of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal. Kozinski told the Los Angeles Times that he hadn’t realized the website could be accessed by the public. He said some material was inappropriate but some was funny, according to a summary of news reports posted yesterday on
Other images on the site reportedly included masturbation, public sex and a step-by-step pictorial of a woman shaving her pubic hair.

Kozinski’s son, Yale, said that he maintained the site, which also included family photos and some of his father’s articles. “This server is my private Web server,” Yale Kozinski said. “It’s owned by me. The domain is registered to me. The people who have access to put files up there are friends and family.”

Judge Kozinski said he had posted some of the explicit materials and he might have uploaded other items by mistake. He sent and e-mail to Above the Law that said his son apparently uploaded some of the items.
Everyone in the family stores stuff there, and I had no idea what some of the stuff is or was -- I was surprised that it was there,” Judge Kozinski told Above the Law. “I assumed I must have put it there by accident, but when the story broke, Yale called and said he's pretty sure he uploaded a bunch of it. I had no idea, but that sounds right, because I sure don't remember putting some of that stuff there. I consider the server a private storage device, not meant for public access. I'd have been more careful about its contents if I had known that others could access it.”

“I guess I should be more careful about access and all,” he said. “I didn’t put anything on there I think would be embarrassing."

Kozinski told lawyers he would be willing to stand down but noted the trial had already begun and jurors had already seen two of the graphic movies. And he had loads more they could see.

Cathy Catterson, the executive who manages the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, said the computer server at issue is private property, maintained by one of Kozinski's sons, who downloaded "some but not all" of the images in question.
"The bottom line is: The server and contents are a private matter, and it was not meant to be accessed by others," Catterson said. "Had he known, he would have been more careful of its contents."

Legal ethics experts predicted that the disclosure of Kozinski's Web site would draw formal complaints from members of the public. But the code of conduct on Internet postings by federal judges is far from clear.

Due to his lifetime tenure, Judge Kozinski could only be removed from the office for an impeachable offense.


ichbinalj said...

Judge in scandal exits porn trial
June 14, 2008.
LOS ANGELES — A federal appeals court judge on 13 June recused himself from an obscenity trial in Los Angeles, three days after acknowledging that he had posted sexually explicit material on a personal Web site.

"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," said Alex Kozinski, chief judge for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The obscenity trial involving a Hollywood adult filmmaker was suspended 11 June after the Los Angeles Times reported about Kozinski's Web site.

ichbinalj said...

Number of Ethics Probes of Federal Judges Appears Unprecedented
Posted Oct 13, 2008, 11:15 am CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

Five federal judges are facing ethics investigations for acts ranging from maintaining a racy website to taking cash from lawyers who appear before them.

The number of investigations appears unprecedented under the modern ethics review system for federal judges, the Houston Chronicle reports. Said Pittsburgh law school professor Arthur Hellman, “As far as I know, we've never had anything like this.''

The publication lists the judge under investigation as:

• U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent, indicted on charges he sexually abused a former case manager. The Chronicle story says Kent has been accused of improperly touching the employee and trying to make her perform oral sex. He has pleaded not guilty. His trial is set for Jan. 26.

• U.S. District Judge Thomas Porteous Jr., reprimanded based on allegations he committed perjury and took money from lawyers who appeared before him. The House Judiciary Committee has formed a task force to consider impeachment.

• U.S. District Judge Thomas Nottingham, accused of visiting a topless dance club and using an escort service.

• 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, accused of posting racy photos to his website. Kozinski says he didn’t know the site could be accessed by the public.

• U.S. District Judge Manuel Real, investigated for an alleged “pattern and practice” of failing to provide reasons for legal decisions.