9th Circuit Chief Judge Initiates Internal Review of Explicit Website Posts
Posted Jun 12, 2008 4:07 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
After news reports that he has posted sexually explicit materials online, Alex Kozinski, the chief judge of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, has initiated a potential investigation of his own conduct.
"I have asked the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit to take steps pursuant to Rule 26 of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct and Disability and to initiate proceedings concerning the article that appeared in yesterday's Los Angeles Times," he wrotes in a two-sentence statement to be posted by the 9th Circuit. "I will cooperate fully in any investigation."
Rule 26 apparently governs the possible transfer of a matter under the judicial conduct code to a different circuit's judicial council for resolution.
As discussed in earlier ABAJournal.com posts, Kozinski has admittedly posted some of the sexually explicit materials seen by a Los Angeles Times reporter on a website that could, at one point, be accessed by any member of the public who knew how how to reach a subdirectory. Kozinski has since arranged to block the site, explaining that he didn't realize it could be seen by the public.
Meanwhile, Kozinski’s son, Yale, told the New York Times yesterday evening that he maintained the site, which also included family photos and some of his father’s articles. “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.”
The issue has affected an otherwise unrelated ongoing obscenity trial in Los Angeles, over which Kozinski was randomly selected to preside under a program that occasionally puts appellate judges on the bench in federal trials.
At last report, the obscenity trial had been postponed until Monday as the prosecution determines whether to seek Kozinski's recusal. (Defense counsel wants Kozinski to continue to hear the case.)
Cyrus Sanai, an attorney in Beverly Hills, Calif., has told the Associated Press that he alerted reporters at various publications, including the Los Angeles Times, to the sexually explicit images on the website.
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