Patterico's Pontifications

6/13/2008

It’s Friday Afternoon

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:06 pm

And we all know that when (not if) Obama rejects public financing, he’ll announce it on a Friday afternoon. Unless he does it on the day before the Fourth of July.

Will this be the one? Or will he wait?

Kozinski Declares Mistrial, Recuses Self

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Kozinski — Patterico @ 2:35 pm

Judge Kozinski has declared a mistrial and recused himself from further participation in that obscenity case.

Tim Russert Dead of Heart Attack

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:57 pm

He was 58.

This comes as quite a shock. Condolences to his family.

Kozinski Asks for Investigation of Himself

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Kozinski — Patterico @ 11:11 am

Judge Kozinski has called for an investigation of himself:

The chief judge of the federal appeals court in San Francisco, whose pornography-laden Web site hit the headlines while he was presiding over an obscenity trial in Los Angeles, invited an investigation Thursday by a judicial disciplinary agency.

Judge Alex Kozinski said in a statement that he has asked the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ Judicial Council to begin proceedings to determine whether he engaged in misconduct. The council has the power to censure a judge, temporarily halt case assignments, or take the first steps that could lead to congressional impeachment and removal from office.

“I will cooperate fully in any investigation,” Kozinski said.

I think the investigation should address the extent to which Kozinski thought the site was private:

He said he had believed it was a private site that others could see only with his permission, until he learned otherwise this week from the newspaper and his son.

Most people reading that would probably assume that Kozinski believed that a member of the public would have to log in, likely presenting a password, in order to view anything stored on his site. But clearly Kozinski knew that members of the public could view material stored on his web site without a password or login. After all, he wrote an article about Cyrus Sanai that, in the 13th paragraph, hyperlinked a document stored on his web site:

Nor would the reader — unless he happened to enter Mr. Sanai’s name in the Westlaw CTA9-ALL database — realize that, as part of the same imbroglio, he and certain members of his family have hounded a state trial judge off their case (read the PDF); been held in contempt and sanctioned under 28 U.S.C. §1927 and had their ninth sortie to our court in the same case designated as “frivolous” and “an improper dilatory tactic” by the district court. A detached observer, Mr. Sanai is not.

The “read the PDF” hyperlink is to this link: http://alex.kozinski.com/judge.thibodeau.pdf. Unless Kozinski took specific steps to unlock permission for the viewing of that one document — an action which would, presumably, have familiarized him with the permissions applicable to his site — he knew the public could view documents on his site.

My guess is that Kozinski assumed members of the public could view these materials only if they had the correct address for the material in question — but that they couldn’t view it if they didn’t know the specific address. But that’s just a guess. I am trying to obtain contact information for Kozinski so I can ask him more directly.

I don’t ask this question in the spirit of attacking Judge Kozinski. Before this controversy, I had long admired him as a smart, iconoclastic judge with a clear and entertaining writing style. I don’t have any pre-existing hostility to the man. I’m just interested in the facts.

I’ll remind people that the material I posted is not all of the material on Kozinski’s website, by a longshot. It is merely a selection of material I received from Cyrus Sanai by e-mail. Mr. Sanai — who cheerfully admitted to me that he went after Judge Kozinski to bring publicity to his parents’ case and what he perceived to be the Ninth Circuit’s inconsistency on a an area of law related to that case — agreed to mail me a CD of the entire contents he downloaded from Judge Kozinski’s site. I will be contacting him again to follow up on that. In the meantime, you can get an idea of what was in Kozinski’s “stuff” subdirectory from the file list in this comment, which lists file names found in a search engine cache.

In the meantime, I find it interesting that most people who view the images for themselves find them less offensive than they had expected to find them, based upon a text description of the material in the L.A. Times article. What the article often omits is the humorous context of many of the images. It’s not always my brand of humor, but in most cases, the material is at least an attempt to be humorous.

Meanwhile, I have sent an e-mail to Scott Glover, the author of the L.A. Times article, asking him whether the “video of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal” is that video I linked on Wednesday of a man running away from an aroused donkey. That is a video that was not present on the site when Mr. Sanai did his download, so only the L.A. Times can answer that question. If, as I suspect, the donkey video is the video in question, I think the paper did Kozinski a disservice by using the word “cavorting,” which is suggestive of a human receptive to the idea of bestiality.

UPDATE: I should add that the Chronicle‘s statement that Kozinski’s site depicted “bestiality” is wholly inaccurate and should be retracted. I have received confirmation from someone familiar with the contents of the site that it was indeed the donkey video that was described in the article. That is not an image of bestiality, and to describe it as such is irresponsible.

Open Thread on GTMO Supreme Court Case

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:25 am

I’m off today with no time to blog, but a commenter pointed out that Justin Levine’s post on the Boumediene Supreme Court case (granting habeas corpus rights to GTMO detainees) didn’t allow comments. You guys should have a chance to discuss that somewhere. This is the place to do it.

UPDATE: Beldar is more than mildly annoyed at the result.


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