Thursday, June 12, 2008

Shocker -- judge thinks sex is normal

I'm actually more sympathetic to Judge Alex Kozinski after this revelation:

A closely watched obscenity trial in Los Angeles federal court was suspended Wednesday after the judge acknowledged maintaining his own publicly accessible website featuring sexually explicit photos and videos.

Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, granted a 48-hour stay in the obscenity trial of a Hollywood adult filmmaker after the prosecutor requested time to explore "a potential conflict of interest concerning the court having a . . . sexually explicit website with similar material to what is on trial here."

In an interview Tuesday with The Times, Kozinski acknowledged posting sexual content on his website. Among the images on the site were 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. He defended some of the adult content as "funny" but conceded that other postings were inappropriate.

Kozinski, 57, said that he thought the site was for his private storage and that he was not aware the images could be seen by the public, although he also said he had shared some material on the site with friends. After the interview Tuesday evening, he blocked public access to the site.

Kozinski is a libertarian-ish judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. I say "ish" because he's great on free speech, the right to bear arms and medical marijuana, but fully supported the Kelo decision and even went so far as to suggest that government should be able to seize private property for any purpose so long as it pays fair value.

Even with that "ish," though, he's head and shoulders above 99% of other federal judges as an advocate of individual rights. So it's a bit surprising that, as the Los Angeles Times says, he's "been mentioned as a possible candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court." In the year of Obama vs. McCain, with a President Ron Paul off the table and a President Bob Barr highly unlikely, I'm not sure who would nominate him.

It's reassuring to know that a judge is open not only to keeping a somewhat off-base porn collection, but also to being largely unapologetic about it.

"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."

After all, Antonin Scalia probably has a massive collection of bondage magazines, but if ever caught perusing the material, he's the type who'd claim they belonged to his chauffeur before tearfully checking in to some kind of kink rehab. (And then there's Eliott Spitzer, who prosecuted prostitution rings while giving them his business.)

Sad to say, though, Kozinski is now probably off of the candidate list for the Supreme Court, if he was ever really on it. Unless Paul or Barr pull off a coup.

Update: Having now seen some of the images Kozinski kept, I'll add that many of them are a hoot. I've also already seen more than a few of them via the email grapevine.

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Anonymous said...

UPDATE: Looks like some sex was too much sex. Kozinski recused himself from the Isaacs case earlier today. Should he have? How similar were the videos on his website and the images involved in the government's case against artist Ira Isaac? Judge for yourself.

In a follow-up to yesterday's images from the Kozinski website, has gathered images from the videos the government claims are criminally obscene:

USA vs. Ira Isaacs art images

June 13, 2008 3:52 PM  

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