Patterico's Pontifications

6/18/2008

Your Daily Kozinski Links

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Kozinski — Patterico @ 8:18 pm

Susan Estrich has a long opinion piece about the Kozinski controversy, and comes out firmly on the judge’s side. She criticizes the L.A. Times for misdescribing the material on the judge’s website/server, and for omitting the role of Cyrus Sanai in tipping the newspaper.

Judge Kozinski’s “sin,” in the eyes of the man who attacked him, was not his taste in humor but his willingness to speak out publicly about legal issues, in this case, the lawsuit brought by Mr. Sanai, and the abuse of process it involved.

That willingness is precisely what makes Judge Kozinski a unique treasure in the federal judiciary. Instead of encouraging others to do the same, which is what the so-called liberal media should be doing it, the sloppy if not vicious reporting of the Los Angeles Times is sure to encourage just the opposite. The first amendment is not well served.

Meanwhile, an article in ComputerWorld asks: Federal judge a victim of privacy breach or poor judgment? I am quoted on the second page.

Meanwhile, The Onion asks people on the street:

A Los Angeles pornography trial was suspended when it came to light that the judge had bestiality-tinged photos on his personal website. What do you think?”

The best answer comes from Katla Braidwood, Financial Adviser: “Well, good luck finding a judge that doesn’t run a bestiality site.”

On a serious note, where in the world did The Onion get the idea that Judge Kozinski had “bestiality-tinged photos” on his web site? Wasn’t it just yesterday that Scott Glover was telling us that his description of the material on Judge Kozinski’s server/website wasn’t misleading? I believe it was.

So how did The Onion (and the San Francisco Chronicle) get misled??

Finally, Seth Finkelstein, who has done much good work on this controversy at his blog, has this op-ed in the Guardian.

UPDATE: As long as we’re collecting links, here’s another one, from yesterday’s New York Sun.

By the way, my CD from Cyrus Sanai hasn’t arrived yet. He’s putting another one in the mail, which, we both agree, undoubtedly means I’ll receive the first one tomorrow.

UPDATE x2: See this post.

14 Comments

  1. I just love the “but it was all your fault for finding out” defense.

    Comment by nk (4bb2be) — 6/18/2008 @ 8:32 pm

  2. How can your list of links be complete without Cyrus’s own piece today describing his own role as a tireless crusader to stamp out judicial corruption in the Ninth Circuit and Washington State:

    http://news.google.com/news?btcid=c4cc32fc179afeda

    Comment by daleyrocks (d9ec17) — 6/18/2008 @ 8:56 pm

  3. Actually, the list of links wasn’t complete until I noted the LAT mentioning Marcy Tiffany’s e-mail yesterday. I never mentioned that yesterday because I got embroiled in the AP stuff, and responding to various comments by Orin Kerr.

    Comment by Patterico (cb443b) — 6/18/2008 @ 9:52 pm

  4. I’m still waiting for Judge Kozinski, daleyrocks, Susan Estrich, Eugene Volokh–heck, anyone–to explain how appointment of a private party litigant’s employee as a judicial referee is anything but corrupt. So far, no takers on that one.

    But here is the interesting things about the Mrs. Kozinski/Estrich pieces. Both explicitly endorse the idea that Judge Kozinski is being unfairly punished for speaking out against me.

    I hope that argument gets repeated more and more by Judge Kozinski’s defenders, because it points out how his example has poisoned the judicial system.

    Judge’s don’t get to speak out against me or any other lawyer concerning a pending or potential case, period, under Canon 3(A) of the Code of Judicial Ethics, except as part of hearings or opinions on matters properly before them. Indeed, I would not have bothered to look for the site had Kozinski not decided to breach this rule, apologize for it while pretending the site did not exist, breach it again, and now breach it through sock puppets, friends, and his wife.

    So while this affair is a consequence of Judge Kozinski’s knowing breach of this Canon, it isn’t punishment for it; that will come from the investigatory committee and Judicial Council of the Third Circuit (assuming they don’t directly boot it up to the Judicial Conference, which they might).

    The other problem Mrs. Kozinski will face is explaining way L. Ralph Mecham’s accusations. Ain’t no funny in turning off the firewall for three circuits.

    Cyrus Sanai

    Comment by Cyrus Sanai (4df861) — 6/18/2008 @ 11:26 pm

  5. Cyrus – I’m still waiting for you to answer the questions I’ve raised about that appointment you keep referencing. How were you damaged? Why did you interminably resist the sale of the land parcels. Was the special master or referee or whatever you want to call hin nor required to submit accountings to the court? With an equal settlement of marital property except for the land parcels and your mother’s foreign account, where did you see your side getting screwed?

    Comment by daleyrocks (d9ec17) — 6/18/2008 @ 11:40 pm

  6. > bestiality-tinged photos

    this could mean _photos remotely suggestive of bestiality_, not necessarily the act of bestiality in all its favors. it depends how one looks at the pictures and what one most immediately sees in them. i suggest running a test involving a few dozens of subjects. what do you, guys, see? what are these images primarily about? if the subjects somehow indicate that these images are in a way obscene and imply bestiality, then that’s what these images are about. that’s their most immediate pragmatics. if only one subjects responds with bestiality, think of that one perception in terms of proportionality of meaning. cannot come up with any other way of figuring out their meaning.

    Comment by telo (cdc251) — 6/19/2008 @ 1:59 am

  7. I don’t know, I think it’s a pretty fair description of the pictures of the women painted as cows. Assuming the ones linked were in fact the pictures on his site.

    Comment by Skip (f12b3c) — 6/19/2008 @ 6:10 am

  8. Sure hope Cyrus Sanai’s CD mailed to you includes some MP3s downloaded from Judge Kozinski’s home computer. Just think of the interesting possibilities…

    Comment by Vic Trola (42a5df) — 6/19/2008 @ 10:27 am

  9. telo, I’m still trying to figure out your meaning.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 6/19/2008 @ 10:35 am

  10. to SPQR
    what do you mean?
    :)

    Comment by telo (cdc251) — 6/19/2008 @ 3:23 pm

  11. Hey Cyrus, I just read your post here:

    http://news.google.com/news?btcid=c4cc32fc179afeda

    I gotta say, as a career federal law clerk who, in prior private practice, sometimes got budd-fudged by sleazy state-court judges and occasionally biased federal judges: (1) you write very well (it ain’t easy translating long, complicated case histories into easily digestible summaries like that); and (2) I find it especially gratifying to see any form of judicial sleaze exposed (no, not Koz’s smut — who cares about that, really? — but things like crony appointments, intellectually dishonest rulings, ethical-breach cover-ups, etc.).

    Now, I haven’t examined your litigation history to determine whether you’re a bad-faith, nutball litigant or a straight-shooting crusader, but I do think it’s worth pausing here to compliment you on your clear, cut-to-the-chase writing (I gather that it’d be even better quality were you not up 24/7 watching these web sites and responding on a roll, eh?).

    And, if you’re supported on what you say (i.e., that evil judges have cut moral and judicial corners to screw you, then arrogantly papered over it), then yes, stand your ground, bro. Because as a federal court system insider, I’ve sometimes seen enough sleaze to keep me up some nights, and yes, sunshine is the best disinfectant.

    One upside to this controversy that’s arisen already: The populace is, as it should, now debating what should be kept secret about judicial-investigative proceedings (answer: very little). Even better, take Susan Estrich’s piece today — http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,368864,00.html. She’s now got people asking whether it makes practical and constitutional sense to prosecute people for ugly speech (i.e., obscenity, which constitutes the ultimate entanglement of church and state in that the values that define what’s bad about “obscenity” are ultimately traceable to religionists who insist that merely depicting or viewing “fornication” is sinful, thus bad, thus legally proscribable — why? because their deity says so, and they know this because “it’s in the bible, and the bible is the word of god because it says so in the bible,” and therefore our righteous evangelical president’s justice department simply should and “must” go after the pudgy, middle aged man over whose trial the Koz presided here…. yes friends, it’s THAT crazy).

    Too, we are also constrained to re-examine journalistic ethics (the L.A. Times’s hanging back and springing this story on the Koz at the most ironic moment, costing the public in the process).

    Finally, you’ve provoked a lot of useful debate on privacy rights and one’s personal responsibility for guarding same (if I make love in my hot tub with the curtains drawn, do I have a right to gripe if my neighbors watch?). All this healthy debate flowing from a “disgruntled litigant.” I say that’s free speech in action, and that’s always good.

    Comment by Federal-Court-Insider (2fa95b) — 6/19/2008 @ 4:06 pm

  12. > where in the world did The Onion get the idea that Judge Kozinski had “bestiality-tinged photos” on his web site?

    Dude! The Onion is a parody newspaper/website. They are to newspapers what Comedy Channel’s “The Daily Show” is to network newscasts. They make stuff up if it makes the story funnier.

    Comment by Arthur (a65fcd) — 6/19/2008 @ 6:52 pm

  13. I know it’s a parody site, of course. But usually, with the man-on-the-street questions, they start from a factual premise. The funny comes in the replies.

    At least that’s how they always seemed to me.

    Comment by Patterico (cb443b) — 6/19/2008 @ 6:55 pm

  14. Cyrus hasn’t checked in today. What’s up with that?

    A day without Cyrus is like a day without…….misleading, ego inflating, puff pieces about deluded judicial crusaders who claim to have been screwed by the system.

    Comment by daleyrocks (d9ec17) — 6/19/2008 @ 9:42 pm

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