Looks Like It Was Never About The Porn: Kozinski Accused By Lawyer Of Lying To Court

Post to Twitter

Many men in power seem to agree that there is nothing wrong with a judge enjoying porn that degrades women. As some Kozinski PR shill noted in a comment here, Larry Lessig tells us it’s all harmless fun. Bizarrely enough, the person who disclosed the porn website to the media, Cyrus Sanai, found the porn because he says the website was being used by Kozinski to distribute potentially infringing copies of copyrighted music. He wrote:

What the LA Times did not cover, which was my original focus, was the material Judge Kozinski was actively publicly distributing: music mp3’s. I found the link to his /stuff/ directory on a Russian”free mp3″. The artist? Weird Al Yankovic. Once I knew of that directory, I called up a catalog and saw the stuff. By the way, in addition to viewing women as cattle, Judge Kozinski finds blacks, Catholics and Arabs as equally worthy of his contempt, to judge from his humor collection.

Kozinski initially ‘fessed up to the LA Times, after denying the existence of”alex.kozinski.com”in the initial misconduct proceedings I initiated. However, he apparently had second thoughts about this, and has put up his son, Yale, as a fall guy.

The cover-up is always worse than the original crime. While his son did register the site and set up its architecture–I found an outline of the code on his portion of kozinski.com–it was Judge Kozinski who had complete control of the sub-domain alex.kozinski.com.

The 2005 genesis of the dispute between Sanai and Kozinski is articulated here. The short version: Sanai is deeply critical of the use of unpublished opinions in the Ninth Circuit. Kozinski responded by questioning Sanai’s professional ethics. Sanai responded in kind. A Wired.com article reports Sanai filed a complaint against Kozinski alleging misconduct, and the 9th Circuit’s Judicial Council launched a limited inquiry. Kozinski apologized for some things but denied posting a disputed document at his website, the very same website, apparently, where the porn was hosted. After this, how could Kozinski not have known that the porn was going to be publicly accessible too? Per Wired, Sanai claims that “during the investigation he had personally walked an investigator through Kozinski’s site to show him the document. But after the Council’s ruling was released, he went to Kozinski’s site and found that it was gone. Using the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive, Sanai found that the site had been taken down months earlier. Months after the Judicial Council’s ruling was released, Kozinski’s site came back up, without the controversial document posted on it, though an index of the site accessed through the Wayback Machine showed traces of the document that had been posted there.”

If Sanai’s allegations about Kozinski’s manipulations of and misrepresentations about his website are true, Kozinski has severely breached ethical obligations for reasons completely unrelated to pornography. Sanai was deviously smart to use the porn as a way to draw media attention to his other claims. All the libertarians and Supposedly Liberal Doods who are lining up to aggressively support Kozinski in his courageous fight to blame his son for the degrading porn on his eponymous website might want to step back and think this one all the way through for a few minutes. I don’t know whether Sanai’s claims are valid. But writing this off as some kind of moral panic about porn is doing justice a disservice.

NB: Some, though not all, of the material from Kozinski’s website is available here. Kozinski seems to find images of children giving blow jobs to priests quite hilarious. The donkey video Lessig describes with the phrase “nothing sexual is shown in that video at all” is here.

–Ann Bartow

Update: Sanai himself wrote at the Volokh Conspiracy:

The focus on the pornographic aspects of the case could be called overblown–but the other serious problems with what Judge Kozinski has done are only now receiving some attention, and in my view, they raise much more serious questions about him and the Ninth Circuit’s attitudes toward the rule of law.

So, hopefully the investigation Kozinski himself has called for will bring some sunlight to all this.

Updated to add: Astroturf, much?

Share
This entry was posted in Feminism and Law, Legal Profession. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Looks Like It Was Never About The Porn: Kozinski Accused By Lawyer Of Lying To Court

  1. This is very confused: “Kozinski apologized for some things but denied posting a disputed document at his website, the very same website, apparently, where the porn was hosted. After this, how could Kozinski not have known that the porn was going to be publicly accessible too?”

    1) As I read it, he denied posting any confidential court document – the document that he posted was a public transcript.

    2) The porn was in a different directory, that he thought wasn’t searchable (and was apparently wrong about that).

    [Disclaimer: I came here through the sivacracy.net post. Though Kozinski does indeed have powerful friends, I’m not a member of that club]

  2. Ann Bartow says:

    Seth, if you read the misconduct ruling here:
    http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/files/schroeder-kozinski-order.pdf
    you’ll get as much clarity about what was (or wasn’t) posted as is possible under the circumstances; not all that much (see pages 2-3).

    My point is that Kozinski knew that Sanai was aware of his website. In fact, the whole world was aware of his website after Kozinski himself posted links to it when he nominated himself for the judicial hotties contest: http://underneaththeirrobes.blogs.com/main/2004/06/courthouse_foru.html
    see also: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/15/politics/16text-blogs.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1213488699-D3FnPT2eHA2vI24z6dTEew

    As far as I can tell from what I read, Kozinski used the website to “share with family and friends.” Maybe he thought the site has some kind of practical obscurity, I don’t know.

  3. Ann Bartow says:

    Seth, I see by your post here:
    http://sethf.com/infothought/blog/archives/001352.html
    you have your own theories and are aware of the NYT article links.

  4. Ann Bartow says:

    Note to people whose comments are not making it through moderation: When you “respond” to arguments and assertions that were not made in the post, I have to assume you are astroturfing.

  5. Ann Bartow says:

    Also, when you try to post the same comments here that I’ve already seen at other blogs, I KNOW you are astroturfing.

  6. Pingback: Feminist Law Professors » Blog Archive » “U.S. Judge Kozinski Accused of Ethics Breach by Lawyer Critic”