Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Should a federal judge.... porn pictures on his personal website (when he is about to start an obscenity trial)? That's the debate after Judge Alex Kozinski did so in United States v. Ira Isaacs, a trial starting this morning. According to the LA Times:

One of the highest-ranking federal judges in the United States, who is currently presiding over an obscenity trial in Los Angeles, has maintained a publicly accessible website featuring sexually explicit photos and videos.Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, acknowledged in an interview with The Times that he had posted the materials, which included a photo of naked women on all fours painted to look like cows and a video of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal. Some of the material was inappropriate, he conceded, although he defended other sexually explicit content as "funny."

Other stuff found on the site:

The sexually explicit material on Kozinski's site earlier this week was extensive, including images of masturbation, public sex and contortionist sex. There was a slide show striptease featuring a transsexual, and a folder that contained a series of photos of women's crotches as seen through snug fitting clothing or underwear. There were also themes of defecation and urination, though they are not presented in a sexual context.

How did Kozinski end up doing a trial (he's the Chief Judge on the 9th Circuit):

The judge said it was strictly by chance that he wound up presiding over the Issacs trial in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. Appeals court judges occasionally hear criminal cases when they have free time on their calendars and the Isaacs case was one of two he was given, the judge said.

The money quotes:

Kozinski said he didn't think any of the material he posted on his website would qualify as obscene."Is it prurient? I don't know what to tell you," he said. "I think it's odd and interesting. It's part of life."Before the site was taken down, visitors to were greeted with the message: "Ain't nothin' here. Y'all best be movin' on, compadre."Only those who knew to type in the name of a subdirectory could see the content on the site, which also included some of Kozinski's essays and legal writings as well as music files and personal photos.The judge said he began saving the sexually explicit materials and other items of interest years ago."People send me stuff like this all the time," he said.He keeps the things he finds interesting or funny with the thought that he might later pass them on to friends, he said.


Anonymous said...


Your lead overstates it a bit. The judge did not post material from the trial he is presiding over. It was all his personal stash.

Still a very odd and funny story. Makes one wonder what is going on under those robes.

David Oscar Markus said...

good point. i fixed it.

Anonymous said...

And I thought we were going through a bizarro situation -- with a new superintendent, here in Collier County Public Schools, as he's a retired Army colonel whom I believe may have totally faked his credentials.

What do you do in this situation, when the local newspaper does NO investigative reporting whatsoever?

I don't know; so I made the quiz, below. If you like, take the quiz -- and then tell me if you think he's faking his credentials...


Anonymous said...

PS Make that:


Anonymous said...

David, we post pictures on your website?

Anonymous said...

Interesting article about this judge and the web site in today's NYT:

CLICK HERE - or see below:


June 12, 2008

Chief Judge Contributed to Racy Web Site


The chief judge of the federal appeals court in California, Alex Kozinski, has contributed to a Web site that featured sexually explicit materials, The Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday.

The site, now disabled, included a video showing a sexually aroused animal, a photograph of naked women painted to look like cows and images of masturbation and public sex, The Times reported.

Judge Kozinski, an intellectual powerhouse with a libertarian streak, was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by President Ronald Reagan and was named its chief judge last year. He is acting as a trial judge in Los Angeles this week, presiding over the trial of a Los Angeles filmmaker accused of distributing obscene materials.

In a telephone interview on Wednesday afternoon, Judge Kozinski would not comment about whether he would disqualify himself from hearing the obscenity case. Later on Wednesday, he suspended the trial to consider the question, The Associated Press reported.

In the interview, he said the Web site was meant to be private and that several people had contributed to it. “There is a ton of stuff on there,” Judge Kozinski said. “It’s not a porn site. There’s some funny stuff on there.”

Judge Kozinski said his son, Yale, maintained the site, which had the domain name of Yale Kozinski, a film editor, confirmed that, as do Internet registry records for the site.

“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.” Among other things, he said, the site contained family photos and a collection of the judge’s articles.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Judge Kozinski had conceded posting some of the offensive materials. In interviews on Wednesday, neither Judge Kozinski nor his son could say who posted what, and Judge Kozinski said he might have uploaded some materials by mistake.

The site was never meant to be public, Yale Kozinski said. “The fact that it was publicly accessible actually is my fault, too,” he said. “I made a mistake in configuring it.”

Judge Kozinski said he was only moderately contrite.

“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.”

Rumpole said...

One wonders what our own lovable chief judge has on his own server? Probably nothing more offensive than highlights of Notre Dame Football for the last ten years. Which if you think about how bad they've been, it could be pretty darn offensive.

Rumpole's rule of federal pracice- when before Judge Moreno never miss an opportunity to remind him how bad the Canes pounded Notre Dame when they played. It ruins his day, and makes our day, and isn't that what law is all about?

Anonymous said...

It's funny how goverment officials play down their internet habits and go to the extreme to prosecute innocent internet browsers(wrongly accused)and mprisoned.We are not "america the free"our police officers don't patrol the steets anymore they are sting ring experts for the internet and public bathrooms.Our consitutional rights are violated,our privacy is being invaded to protect us from terroists,yet we have given them exactly what they wanted!We live in fear of our own goverment and are killing each other,all in the name of 911 & our corrupt judicial system!