Patterico's Pontifications

6/11/2008

Kozinski’s Porn Stash Revealed (UPDATED With Link to Possible Picture) (UPDATE: Kozinski’s Son Uploaded Material?) (UPDATE: Trial Suspended)

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Kozinski — Patterico @ 5:37 pm

Here’s a headline that’ll grab your attention: 9th Circuit’s chief judge posted sexually explicit materials on his website. And in an especially ironic development, the judge is Alex Kozinski, who is presiding over the first obscenity trial here in L.A. in years:

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.”

I’m not inclined to be judgmental about this. I’m fairly certain I have no depictions of naked women on all fours painted like cows . . . but still. Let he who has never viewed porn cast the first stone.

More details on Kozinski’s collection:

Kozinski said he would delete some material from his site, including the photo depicting women as cows, which he said was “degrading . . . and just gross.” He also said he planned to get rid of a graphic step-by-step pictorial in which a woman is seen shaving her pubic hair.

Kozinski said he must have accidentally uploaded those images to his server while intending to upload something else. “I would not keep those files intentionally,” he said. The judge pointed out that he never used appeals court computers to maintain 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.

The interesting issue is whether this mandates recusal from the obscenity trial.

Stephen Gillers, a New York University law professor who specializes in legal ethics, told The Times that Kozinski should recuse himself from the Isaacs case because “the public can reasonably question his objectivity” concerning the issues at hand.

Gillers, who has known Kozinski for years and called him “a treasure of the federal judiciary,” said he took the judge at his word that he did not know the site was publicly available. But he said Kozinski was “seriously negligent” in allowing it to be discovered.

“The phrase ‘sober as a judge’ resonates with the American public,” Gillers said. “We don’t want them to reveal their private selves publicly. This is going to upset a lot of people.”

Gillers said the disclosure would be humiliating for Kozinski and would “harm his reputation in many quarters,” but that the controversy should die there.

He added, however, that if the public concludes the website was intended for the sharing of pornographic material, “that’s a transgression of another order.”

“It would be very hard for him to come back from that,” he said.

Well, I doubt very seriously that the public would conclude that. And there are no hypocrisy charges to level, since Kozinski is a well-known libertarian. He’s probably embarrassed, to be sure — but not half as much as a lot of other people would be in a similar situation. The article notes that Kozinski “has developed a reputation as a champion of the First Amendment right to freedom of speech and expression. Several years ago, for example, after learning that appeals court administrators had placed filters on computers that denied access to pornography and other materials, Kozinski led a successful effort to have the filters removed.”

But still, it’s hard to see how a judge who has depictions of defecation and “cavorting” suggestive of bestiality can preside over an obscenity trial featuring defecation and bestiality. Especially when it’s revealed in such a public way, during the trial. (The story is currently at the top of the L.A. Times web site.) The jurors would spend the trial wondering if the judge planned to copy the videos once the trial is over. It’s just a bad situation all around.

I agree with Prof. Gillers. Judge Kozinski should recuse himself.

UPDATE: A Google search for “women painted as cows” with all filters turned off yields this completely not safe for work image of a fully naked woman painted as a cow. Either this is a widespread phenomenon, or this is one of the pictures Kozinski had on his site.

Moo!

UPDATE x2: In an e-mail to David Lat, Kozinski says that his son uploaded some of the material to a shared server. It doesn’t sound like he’s trying to pretend he never saw it, just that it was his son who uploaded the material to the server. (Via Howard.)

UPDATE x3: Kozinski has suspended the trial to allow the parties time to consider whether to request that he be removed.

UPDATE x4: A commenter at Ace’s links another not safe for work picture of a naked woman painted as a cow. Maybe it is a widespread phenomenon . . .

UPDATE x5: After reading comments here, I think I may have found the video with the man and the aroused farm animal. Might as well link that too! Once again, this is all decidedly not safe for work, but I do think — assuming this is the material we’re talking about, and we don’t know that — that it sheds light on whether the material Kozinski had is truly offensive, humorous, or something else.

UPDATE x6: Wow. It has been revealed who the tipster was: attorney Cyrus Sanai. He had disputes with Kozinski in the past; indeed, I have blogged about them. This is worth a new post.

UPDATE x7: I have spoken with the tipster to the L.A. Times, who sent me some of the images he downloaded from Kozinski’s site. You can view them here.

Ultimately, he may have a bigger and more lasting problem with the issue of whether he chose to share .mp3′s. We’ll follow up on that in coming days.

44 Responses to “Kozinski’s Porn Stash Revealed (UPDATED With Link to Possible Picture) (UPDATE: Kozinski’s Son Uploaded Material?) (UPDATE: Trial Suspended)”

  1. I moove that the judge recuse himself.

    Mach 3.1415926 (44cef5)

  2. I think you mean “Dude” about that NSFW photo, which I absolutely did not view. At least not at work.

    Attila (Pillage Idiot) (88e3e3)

  3. The high quality of our Democratic appointees.

    martin (cd5d90)

  4. Why am I thinking about Rosie O’Donnell?

    The first “porn” I ever saw was a Playboy magazine that had photos of women in cheerleader skirts, football helmets, shoulder pads… but they were otherwise topless. Glimpse of a nipple below the pads
    wooooo hooooo!

    Now no one even notices a photo unless there’s a moose ready to nail a midget doped up on nimazepam.. in which case the issue isn’t about porn as much as about the consent

    SteveG (71dc6f)

  5. I’m thinking the defense certainly wouldn’t want him recused at this point. Does the government have some right to a prudish judge in obscenity cases?

    PatHMV (0e077d)

  6. Recuse or be remooved.

    Al (b624ac)

  7. martin, Kozinski was appointed by Reagan.

    Attila (Pillage Idiot) (88e3e3)

  8. I like pictures of nekkid ladies, no matter how they’re painted, but “a video of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal”?

    nk (4bb2be)

  9. I’m thinking the defense certainly wouldn’t want him recused at this point.

    The defense was never going to want him recused. But yeah, especially now.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  10. “Kozinski said he must have accidentally uploaded those images to his server while intending to upload something else.”

    He should recuse himself for udder stupidity if he didn’t know what he was uploading (how many times?), and/or for insulting the public assuming they would buy this load of bull.

    Dana (cf7e2e)

  11. Alex Kozinski is my favorite judge. He was appointed by Reagan, but I would not call him a traditional social conservative. He is definitely part of the libertarian wing of conservatism.

    Steve (199ea9)

  12. Kozinski is among my favorites too. But the way the media works, this will come to define his career. What a tragedy. If your father was this kind of public figure, would you date put graphic porn on a public server he had access to?

    That’s extremely fishy. I know several people with judges for fathers (I’m at a pretty good law school), and a few of them have issues with their parent… the strong personality, the control, the idea of following in footsteps you didn’t necessarily choose.

    I wonder if this son resented his father and sabotaged him. I mean, how could the son not be aware that hid dad was in a case covering precisely bestiality and defecation porn?

    And in this age of the internet, there’s really no reason to stockpile porn. Why use the public server? When I look at porn, I never advertise it to my sisters and parents, for God’s sake. Then again, perhaps the son is just incredibly depraved. Either way, the son either deliberately or recklessly tarnished a career that took decades of work and sacrifice. That’s pretty tragic.

    Jem (4cdfb7)

  13. Dana, the judge didn’t upload anything, The ‘he’ pronoun refers to his idiot son.

    I don’t see why he should recuse himself just for having access he wasn’t aware of to another person’s porn. Morally, I mean. Imagine, being not only blamed for an adult son’s transgressions, but being given his mental culpability!

    Legally, he probably should step down if asked. Administratively, there’s no question he would save a lot of headache by stepping down.

    Jem (4cdfb7)

  14. Dana, the judge didn’t upload anything, The ‘he’ pronoun refers to his idiot son.

    Kozinski didn’t say his son uploaded everything.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  15. So whats the point of this post exactly?

    love2008 (1b037c)

  16. Dana, the judge didn’t upload anything, The ‘he’ pronoun refers to his idiot son.

    Nope, not in that article, it doesn’t. And did you catch “some” in the throwing-the-son-under-the-bus email?

    nk (4bb2be)

  17. So whats the point of this post exactly?

    That not every post on this site is a forum for a Barack Little-Boy-Blue-Come-Blow-Your-Horn Obama-supporting moby troll?

    nk (4bb2be)

  18. So whats the point of this post exactly?

    That Barack Obama sucks.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  19. Wow. Great minds.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  20. Give the url to Levi. He’ll be at the site for days.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  21. “Dana, the judge didn’t upload anything, The ‘he’ pronoun refers to his idiot son.”

    I thought the judge and his son both blew their loads.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  22. #18
    There you go fellas. I was wondering who would be the first to link this morbid judge to Obama. You never disappoint, Patterico. I bet this is one of Barack Obama’s trail of anti-americanees. There has to be a link somewhere.

    love2008 (1b037c)

  23. Try to keep up, love2008.

    DRJ (73b499)

  24. #23
    Hey, everybody, DRJ is back! Are you really back? Is this really you? I have missed your thoughtfull, balanced, insightful posts. Not that others havent been doing a good job so far. Patterico is very brilliant and I love his posts too.

    love2008 (1b037c)

  25. love2008,

    Patterico is an excellent blogger – indeed he’s my favorite – and that’s why I couldn’t stay away forever, but thank you for the nice thoughts.

    DRJ (73b499)

  26. Ok, so, the judge looked at naked women painted as cows. If I were him, I’d have called it legal research and left it at that. I don’t think body paint violates community standards, at least not in my community. Can I be a juror in that LA case please please – ok, so bestiality is disgusting and ilegal and it should be the poor animals, but if people want to look at it they can. If they don’t want to, they can move back to Plymouth Plantation. Get a grip people. It is the dawning of the age of aquarius. Throw open the windows let the stale air out along with the Republican liars thieves and stuffed shirts who have been running this country. WHO CARES if Jerzy Kozinski did it with a midget in his book or not?

    I think the Judge should be applauded for having naked pics on his computer. He should be ashamed for apologizing about it.

    Dave (d4e8aa)

  27. “Patterico is an excellent blogger . . .”

    I’m an excellent blogger. — RainMan.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  28. Its about objectivity and not a matter of the judge, or his son, or his gardener uploading this stuff thinking its just “interesting or funny” and certainly not about Republicans(?). But as Patterico points out, “.. how [can] a judge who has depictions of defecation and “cavorting” suggestive of bestiality can preside over an obscenity trial featuring defecation and bestiality.”

    Its a reasonable question.

    Dana (cf7e2e)

  29. #26
    The post says it all. What moral authority does the judge have to preside over this first obscenity trial in LA for years since he is guilty of the same? Like Patterico says, I agree that this judge should recuse himself from handling this case seeing he lacks the moral qualification to act as judge in the matter. it’s that simple Dave.

    love2008 (1b037c)

  30. Any judge with a web site should be removed.

    Alta Bob (b7dc8b)

  31. Has it occurred to everyone that he is a Chief Justice of an appellate court that used his power to sit as a trial judge in a porno case. What are the odds?

    Alta Bob (b7dc8b)

  32. Alta Bob,

    Are you saying that he was too cheap to buy the videos or that he couldn’t wait until the case came up on appeal?

    nk (4bb2be)

  33. This is NOT the Kozinski I knew for twenty years!

    forest hunter (3bfad8)

  34. Re: update #5
    That video was udderly (oh sue me!) hilarious.

    I think even Peta would approve, as apparently no animals were harmed in the making of. It cuts off early, but I would guess that there is no way both parties were going to have a happy ending…

    Bob Loblaw (6d485c)

  35. Cyrus sounds like he’s going to milk this one for all it’s worth.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  36. The lesson here should be obvious; only post clean, wholesome porn on your web site. No rape, no animals, no small kids. No abuse or brutality. Knobbers or bonking with deep, soulful gazing into each others eyes. Above all, avoid fraud and misrepresentation.

    Alan Kellogg (cc07ba)

  37. “Has it occurred to everyone that he is a Chief Justice of an appellate court that used his power to sit as a trial judge in a porno case. What are the odds?”

    I hope this is a one of a kine occurrence.

    fat tony (601b8d)

  38. Judge Kozinski has always been something of a maverick, but this whole situation seems a little too neat. Many attorneys probably have beeves with the man, but don’t go bawling to the press. Of course, the profession attracts bossy personalities and even though the judge is unlikely to be cowed by someone he sees as horning in on his range while milking the system for unfair advantage, I am still saddened to hear them both go low.

    I hope someone steers things to a resolution before all the parties come off looking like buttheads. As for me, I can only say,

    Bullocks!

    fat tony (601b8d)

  39. Look, we all know somebody has to ride herd on the 9th.

    (OK, OK–I’m done)

    fat tony (601b8d)

  40. This IS the Alex Kozinski I’ve seen on the bench- rude, condescending, arrogant. Especially to women. So arrogant that the rules don’t apply to him and he can say what he wants because no one will question the great Kozinski. His son posted the pictures? Yeah, right.

    Marge (e628fb)

  41. You are entitled to your opinion, Marge. I guess impressions vary depending on whose ox is being gored.

    fat tony (601b8d)

  42. “A Google search for “women painted as cows” with all filters turned off yields this completely not safe for work image of a fully naked woman painted as a cow. Either this is a widespread phenomenon, or this is one of the pictures Kozinski had on his site.”

    Er, it kinda is. The behavior is known as bodypainting, and some portions of it are tied fairly close to the furry fandom. People dressed or painted as anthromorphized animals make up an entire ‘beastpaint’ community.

    It’s a little weird, but not exactly uncommon and not usually harmful. Most of the fandom is homosexual or bisexual, so the oddest part is that it depicts women.

    gattsuru (47d767)

  43. it’s none of our god damn business what’s on his site. i wish these stupid ass hat witch hunt crew would leave people the hell alone.

    sick of the republicrats (af3dd7)

  44. ” Porno is a good example of voluntary delusion. It is neither sex nor love. It’s just voyeurism and big business together in one.” — Peter Lavetti, artist and photographer

    Peter Lavetti (068ba3)


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