Kozinski Porn Site Update

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Back in July Karen Gullo of Bloomberg News reported:

Five federal judges will probe possible ethics violations by U.S. Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski, head of a San Francisco-based appeals court, related to the posting of sexually explicit photos on the Internet.

Judge Anthony Scirica, chief of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, assigned himself and four other judges from his circuit to handle the inquiry, according to a notice today by the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. Kozinski, who sought the probe, is the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Kozinski, 57, acknowledged in a June 12 Los Angeles Times article that he posted sexual material on his personal Web site, including photos of naked women on all fours painted like cows. He asked that an investigation into the matter be handled by a circuit other than his own. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts selected Scirica’s court, according to the notice.

“I have selected the judicial council of the third circuit to accept the transfer,” Roberts said in a June 16 letter to Scirica. The council should handle “any pending or new complaints related to the same subject matter.”

Kozinski was appointed to the appeals court in 1985 by President Ronald Reagan. He had previously worked for Reagan as an assistant and deputy legal counsel.

The members of the special committee are Scirica, U.S. Circuit Judges Marjorie Rendell and Walter Stapleton, and Chief U.S. District Judges Harvey Bartle and Garrett Brown.

The last line of the article noted: “Kozinski’s son posted much of the material cited in the Los Angeles Times, Catterson said after the story appeared.” The racist, misogynist porn that Kozinski was sharing with friends and family via his website was bad enough, but the effort to blame everything on his son disgusted me most of all.   Though the disgusting pedophilia humor ran a close second.

Kozinski hired a lawyer to help with his “defense,” as reported by Elkizabeth Amon here, where she wrote:

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, who is under investigation for posting sex photos on the Internet, hired Kirkland & Ellis’s Mark Holscher to represent him.

Kozinski acknowledged in a Los Angeles Times article June 11 that he posted sexually explicit material on his personal Web site, including photographs of naked women on all fours painted like cows. Kozinski said he thought the site was private and inaccessible to the public, the newspaper reported.

Much of the material, which the newspaper said included a woman shaving her pubic hair, transsexual stripping and images of masturbation and public sex, was posted by Kozinski’s son, the court’s clerk later said.

I wonder if Kozinski got his son a lawyer as well. Might be prudent, given that some of the people depicted in the pornography could be under age 18, and Kozinski’s primary defense is that his son is to blame for the nasty bits on the website, unlike most decent people who woould err in the opposite direction and try to protect their children. In any event, the latest development was reported today by Bloomberg’s Cynthia Cotts, who wrote in an article entitled “Federal Judge Upholds Kozinski’s Recusal From Pornography Case”:

Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals properly recused himself from the trial of a man accused of distributing obscene sexual-fetish videos. On June 11, the first day of Ira Isaacs’s trial, Kozinski acknowledged in a Los Angeles Times article that he posted sexually explicit material on his personal Web site. Two days later, Kozinski declared a mistrial in the Isaacs case, saying the controversy required his removal.

U.S. District Judge George King in Los Angeles ruled Sept. 19 that the mistrial was necessary because “a reasonable person” familiar with the controversy might question Kozinski’s impartiality in an obscenity case. The Isaacs case can now proceed to a second trial. Isaacs’s lawyer Roger Diamond had moved to dismiss thecase, calling the recusal unjustified. Diamond argued that a second trial would place his client in “double jeopardy” and diminish his odds for success.

“Judge Kozinski is an excellent jurist,” Diamond wrote in court papers. “He favors freedom of expression. He apparently has a healthy attitude towards erotic material that is not legally obscene.” Diamond didn’t immediately respond to a phone call and e-mail requesting comment on the ruling.

The case is U.S. v. Ira Isaacs, 07-732, U.S. District Court, Los Angeles.

Received the Cotts article via e-mail and don’t have a link yet but will add one when it is available. The interesting question it raises is what “a healthy attitude toward erotic materials” is. Does trying to duck personal responsibility and hang everything bad on your son constitute “healthy”? Is sending forth into the Internets droves of sycophantic flacks and astrotufers who deny that photos and video clips of naked people having sex constitutes “pornography” healthy?   Wouldn’t a judge with a   truly healthy attitude about his proclivities exude honest admissions and straightforward disclosures? Apparently not.

In addition to possibly featuring children under the age of 18, which is legally defined as child pornography, some of Kozinski’s stash may depict victims of sex trafficking, which I may discuss in a future post. It’s my impression that Kozinski generates a culture of fear in the Ninth Circuit but I’m not afraid of him or his goons, and I’m glad the Bloomberg reporters aren’t either.

–Ann Bartow

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