The Judicial Council of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has publicly admonished Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski for maintaining Web pages that included sexually explicit material. But the panel stopped short of further discipline.
"We find that the judge’s possession of sexually explicit offensive material combined with his carelessness in failing to safeguard his sphere of privacy was judicially imprudent," Third Circuit Chief Judge Anthony Scirica wrote for the council. Kozinski's actions "created a public controversy that can reasonably be seen as having resulted in embarrassment to the institution of the federal judiciary. We determine that the Judge’s acknowledgment of responsibility together with other corrective action, his apology, and our admonishment, combined with the public dissemination of this opinion, properly conclude this proceeding."
Our sister publication the The Legal Intelligencer has published a story here (though you must subscribe to that publication to read it). We will post a version on Cal Law this evening.
A .pdf of the panel's decision can be read here.
Further updates from the decision: "The Judge testified that he does not visit and has no interest in pornographic websites."
Kozinski knew as early as 2007 that some sexually explicit files he was maintaining on his computer could be accessed by the public. He removed some of them, but did not follow through on all of his files. "I was careless in that regard," Kozinski testified. "And for that, I am very sorry and offer my sincere apology."
— Scott Graham