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Porn Found On L.A. Obscenity Case Judge's Website 393

Posted by timothy
from the so-this-judge-walks-into-a-bar dept.
Stanislav_J writes "In a bizarre revelation, the judge who is presiding over the Isaacs obscenity trial in Los Angeles was found to have sexually explicit material on a publicly-accessible website. Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, acknowledged that he had posted the materials, but says he believed the site to be for personal storage only, and not accessible to the public (though he does acknowledge sharing some of the material with friends). The files included images of masturbation, public sex, contortionist sex, a transsexual striptease, 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. The latter two are especially ironic in that the trial involves the distribution of allegedly obscene sexual fetish videos depicting bestiality, among other things, by Ira Isaacs, an L.A. filmmaker."
Stanislav_J continues: "The judge has blocked public access to the site (putting up a graphic that reads, 'Ain't nothin' here — y'all best be movin' on, compadre').

Isaacs' defense had welcomed the assignment of Kozinski to the case because of his long record of defending the First Amendment, but the startling news about his website (the revelation of which seems to have been interestingly timed to coincide with today's scheduled opening arguments) now have many folks calling for him to be removed from the case. There is no indication that any of the images on Kozinski's site would be considered obscene or illegal. But certainly, one has to believe that most would consider this at the very least to represent a serious conflict of interest given the nature of the trial."
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Porn Found On L.A. Obscenity Case Judge's Website

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  • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @05:56PM (#23755373) Journal
    Now with animal acts.
    • Animals. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Odder (1288958) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:19PM (#23755709)

      The ninth circuit is about to lose a defender of free speech because he had the savvy to run a web site but not enough to know how it really works. His collection of "porn" are things that other people sent him, the kind of crap that clogs email systems everywhere. It is impossible to have an email address and not have it sent to you. Someone you know will send it along. His mistake was putting it where it could be seen by the same kinds of fanatics that are pushing the "war on porn" in the first place. Ignore the fact that they routinely get busted like Jimmy Swaggart did. Kozinski thought people would not find it because there was no link to the directory ... ugh! He's exactly the kind of level headed person the courts need to rule fairly on these kinds of cases.

      Like the fine article quotes him saying [latimes.com]:

      You don't realize how bad it is in a country like that until you live in a free society like ours. People there live in fear of the secret police -- fear that something they say may get them taken away in the middle of the night. I have seen people hauled off in their pajamas. I've seen what a system of government can do when it is not restrained by law.

      Those were fine sentiments when he was appointed by Ronald Reagan, but it's bad news under a regime that wants to be above the law. There you will find your animals, those who want to live by tooth and claw.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        It is impossible to have an email address and not have it sent to you.

        I've never, ever, ever had anything like that sent to any of the 9 e-mail addresses I use for home, work, or family communication. Ever.
        • Re:Animals. (Score:5, Funny)

          by Odder (1288958) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:44PM (#23756029)

          You don't know enough Republicans.

        • Re:Animals. (Score:5, Funny)

          by Aazzkkimm (465445) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:52PM (#23756137)
          I'm sending you some now.
        • Re:Animals. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by cduffy (652) <charles+slashdot@dyfis.net> on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:58PM (#23756219)
          I once was approached to do some forensic analysis for the defense in a case where a school district's administrator was trying to get a principal much-loved by his community and staff to leave.

          Said principal used a Mac, while the school was primarily PC-based. They seized his computer, and returned it over a month later, claiming that they'd found porn (and releasing some supposedly-recovered photos).

          I did a full analysis -- wrote my own tools to analyze HFS+, scanned the raw disk for image headers, etc -- and found (1) that the system had files and directories with mtimes during the period in which it was in the district's possession (and thus that they'd failed to follow accepted digital forensics practices), (2) that there were in fact a small number of pornographic images on the hard drive... and (3) that every one of those images was autodownloaded by Eudora Pro, a mail client (written back before spam was a serious issue) which saved every attachment to a specific folder on the disk without prompting. However, not one of these images matched those the school district claimed to have recovered.

          The district dropped their case -- and "promoted" the principal to an administrative position he hated, working directly under the man who tried to fire him. Sigh.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Porn pictures being sent to your mightyjalapeno gmail account in 3... 2... 1...
        • Re:Animals. (Score:5, Funny)

          by NtroP (649992) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @07:21PM (#23756503)

          I've never, ever, ever had anything like that sent to any of the 9 e-mail addresses I use for home, work, or family communication. Ever.
          Hang on... ... ...OK. Go check your GMail account :-)
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by witherstaff (713820)

          There are easier ways to get free porn than to post on slashdot and get lots of goatse or who knows what.

          So following your example, I've never had anyone send me money out of the blue to my paypal account.

    • by dunng808 (448849) <osp@al[ ].com ['oha' in gap]> on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:37PM (#23755949) Homepage Journal
      Although I consider myself liberal, sex with ducks is fowl play.
      (Ducking behind a cow painted to look like a woman in a blue silk dress.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheoMurpse (729043)
      What I find interesting about this is that Kozinski is one of the main "feeder judges" for the US Supreme Court. Along with Richard Posner, a great many of his clerks go clerk for SCOTUS justices afterward, and that job is one of the most prestigious jobs in the legal community (i.e., $300K signing bonuses after you clerk for the Supreme Court with the most prestigious firms in the country).

      Basically what I'm saying is that Kozinski is a superstar in the legal community. This is why it's truly funny. It's p
  • by digitrev (989335)
    Well, this will be interesting. I wonder if this will get used against him (i.e. he gets called a hypocrite), or if it'll affect his judgment regarding the case he has right now.
    • Surely he'll have to recuse himself from hearing the case.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I don't know. Pornography is not illegal. I'm not sure there's any reason to treat the material the judge possessed as any different from a .PDF of Lady Chatterley's Lover or Ulysses.

        If the models are all of legal age, then the worst thing you can really accuse him of is copyright infringement.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by John Meacham (1112)
        No, why would he have to recuse himself?

        One could make the argument that a judge that refused to ever look at porn in their life is equally biased and should recuse themselves.

        If anything, I think this makes him more likely to be able to be impartial.
    • I think he could have gotten away with it, when I first read it, my immediate assumption was that maybe he was doing some "investigating", as in seeing what exactly the material was, which I would see necissary, aslong as the material was the same material in question.

      But, reading further into "storage and distribution"...he failed... unless of course, he was sharing it with other judges, but I think that "isnt in the book" as far as I know, a Judge isnt supposed to take advice from other Judges in a case (
  • by mpthompson (457482) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @05:58PM (#23755407)
    I would certainly want judge Kozinski presiding over my case. Just as if the RIAA was on my case I would want a judge who was familiar with and used bittorrent.
    • No kidding. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Alaren (682568) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:24PM (#23755785)

      You're absolutely right. And what's more...

      But certainly, one has to believe that most would consider this at the very least to represent a serious conflict of interest given the nature of the trial.

      Gotta love the tentative language here--mosts and leasts and all. "One has to believe" no such thing. A serious conflict of interest is when you are deciding cases that directly benefit you financially, or are related to crimes you personally committed. Judging matters related to freedoms that you yourself enjoy is not a conflict of interest. If it were, how could judges who owned guns judge Second Amendment issues? How could a judge who smokes judge tobacco-related issues?

      If he's done something illegal or against the judicial code of conduct (don't know--I am not a lawyer yet and haven't researched the issue), then there will be consequences. Otherwise, there may be some shallow irony here, but beyond that it's hardly news. Adult judge in possession of adult-oriented materials!? Next you'll be telling me that some judges drink, some smoke, and some are even... human!

  • by tambo (310170) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @05:59PM (#23755417)
    Tsk, tsk. Bad submitter. How could you have posted this without the URL? I mean... we need to be able to judge the material for ourselves, right?

    - David Stein
  • huh? (Score:4, Funny)

    by cptnapalm (120276) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:00PM (#23755431)
    "a photo of naked women on all fours painted to look like cows"

    *blink*

    *blinkblink*

    *blink*

    What?
  • by w3woody (44457) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:02PM (#23755459) Homepage
    If you are a judge presiding over a case involving the illegal distribution of fetish porn, you should probably take down your own web site illegally distributing fetish porn first.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Nothing from the site was illegal however. (aside from possible copyright infringement if he didn't have the rights to distribute the photos, which I don't think was your idea of illegal)
  • by mapkinase (958129) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:03PM (#23755475) Homepage Journal
    I bet the reaction of the community would be much more drastic if
    "his long record of defending the First Amendment" was not mentioned.

    Where is the irony? I do not see it. Porn-loving judge defends "first amendment". I would call it "integrity".

    The wolf was appointed to herd the sheep. Call me back when man bites dog.

  • Oh boy (Score:3, Funny)

    by joggle (594025) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:03PM (#23755481) Homepage Journal
    This is going to provide great fodder for all the comedy shows and FOX News. Especially considering the judge was telling jurors that there were about 4 hours of video and he'd be watching it with them since it's part of his job.
    • Re:Oh boy (Score:5, Funny)

      by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:06PM (#23755511) Journal

      This is going to provide great fodder for all the comedy shows and FOX News. Especially considering the judge was telling jurors that there were about 4 hours of video and he'd be watching it with them since it's part of his job.


      Is there something wrong with enjoying your work?
  • What better way... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TobyWong (168498) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:07PM (#23755521)
    What better way to become a better judge of obscenity than to immerse yourself in relevant material. Makes sense to me in an admittedly warped way.
    • by digitrev (989335)
      Actually, the best way to judge obscenity is to be a fairly normal person. After all, part of the Miller test for obscenity is

      Whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest
      Of course, seeing as how he was selling it on the intrnet, who's to say what the community is, what its standards are?
      • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:30PM (#23755855)
        The Miller "test" is just a codification of hypocrisy. There is no such thing as an average person when it comes to taste.
        • by Arccot (1115809) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @08:07PM (#23757005)

          The Miller "test" is just a codification of hypocrisy. There is no such thing as an average person when it comes to taste.
          The Miller test, combined with very potent obscenity penalties, is sheer genius from the right.

          You can't see the line when you produce the item. You can't see the line when you're charged. You can only see the line you crossed when the jury reads the verdict. And then you go to jail, period.

          Amazing, considering "obscenity" as a form of expression doesn't even hurt anyone. It's just a straight-up 1st Amendment violation.
  • I would have to say that the defendant's attorney definitely got his client into the right court. Sadly for said defendant, the judge will have to recuse himself now. Unless,the judge rules that it is not pornography, and then everybody goes home happy; except the prosecutors, of course.
  • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:15PM (#23755661)
    ...a judge will actually be an expert in the specialty area the case deals with.
  • Car analogy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xstonedogx (814876) <xstonedogx@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:17PM (#23755677)

    But certainly, one has to believe that most would consider this at the very least to represent a serious conflict of interest given the nature of the trial.


    Should a judge also recuse himself from presiding over auto theft cases if he should happen like cars?

    Does liking porn predispose him to favoring the defendant in an illegal porn case? More importantly, does it do so to a greater degree than being a defender of the First Amendment?

  • So What (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jerry Rivers (881171) * on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:18PM (#23755687)
    Good luck finding a judge who can truthfully say they have never had any interest in pornography.
  • by Calydor (739835) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:22PM (#23755745)
    I fail to see where the conflict of interest is here. So he likes porn. Yeah, he's MALE.

    What would be the 'right' judge to preside over this case? A known prude who prays to God at least seven times a week and has publically stated that pornography is a sin?

    So he has a life outside the court room. Big fucking deal. There's no money involved in it for him, I'm sure, and he probably doesn't know the defendant either. Where is the conflict of interest?!
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:26PM (#23755831) Homepage
    The bad news: the site is down. "Safari can't open the page 'http://alex.kozinski.com/' because it could not connect to the server 'alex.kozinski.com'"

    The good news: it's in the Wayback machine. [archive.org]

    The bad news: the Wayback machine just shows "Ain't nothin' here. Y'all best be movin' on, compadre" on the main page, from 2004 through the last snapshot in 2005. (The news story saying that this is a recent change is apparently wrong).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Perhaps:
      http://web.archive.org/web/*hh_/alex.kozinski.com/underneathmyrobe/

      Although, these are ... entertaining
      http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://alex.kozinski.com/underneathmyrobe/datinggame.rm
      http://web.archive.org/web/*hh_/alex.kozinski.com/stuff/jump.avi

      and this
      http://alex.kozinski.com/jurist-l/
      was blocked from the archive
      http://web.archive.org/web/*hh_/alex.kozinski.com/robots.txt

      That said, after digging throught the site, it looks like:

      A. He's actually human, and has a life outside being a judge (sho
  • by rahvin112 (446269) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:31PM (#23755875)
    I bet 100% of the material on the website is the same material that moves around the "have you seen this" emails forwarded on by every unknowing idiot new to the Internet. I recognize the description of the animal video as the one where the drunk guy is trying to get away from the donkey that is trying to mount him. I also know the woman wearing the cow body paint circulated in a similar email. The vague descriptions on the others also sound as if they are the same type of material that gets forwarded around. I wouldn't be surprised if every adult who has ever used the Internet has seen the material in question, that the judge has some online storage with the material in question isn't surprising to me, and certainly not a reason to dismiss him from the case.

    At the bare minimum I would suggest the material in question makes him much more applicable to judge a case involving bestiality because he should be able to recognize the difference between protected speech and images (those emails classify as such) and obscene material.
  • by ross.w (87751) <rwonderley@nOSpaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:39PM (#23755971) Journal
    ...the Aristocrats
  • Define "obscene". (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheDarkener (198348) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @06:53PM (#23756151)
    I don't get how a government can even try to 'standardize' on something like sex. Isn't that what's so great about sex, that it's *not* like a lunch line, where everyone gets the same food? Variety is the spice of life.

    P.S. Before you judge my own sexual desires and fetishes, I ask you to let it go and ask yourself if it's even necessary. It's not my point to try and "legalize" beastiality or anything of the sort - I just think it's kind of lame to try and tell someone what is "ok" sexually, and what isn't (as long as nobody/nothing gets hurt or is forced to do something against their will - that's a completely different story). It reminds me of the "old days" when certain sex positions were illegal.
  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @07:16PM (#23756441)
    I find that America will be better off when we soon realize that we as adults are children afraid of our own sexual fantasies and the most important action we must take is to simply act as if the naughty naughty doesnt happen. That way we can legally penalize anyone that dares enjoy sex in ways we ourselves wished we could. This judge clearly has a sexual organ, and i move to have him removed from the bench and the legal justice system as we know it. What will the world think of us, when they find out this judge enjoys sex! WHAT i ask you?

    Oh yeah... and dont forget... We do not wipe our own asses... that is dirty.

  • Obscenity wtf (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @07:23PM (#23756527) Journal
    Let the FCC control broadcast obscenity. Anything subscribed or unicasted on demand is fine.

    Seriously, I get offended when people back off and hide things or pause to hold back words in the middle of a sentence while they do a quick replacement. I never say anything because it's futile and the world is a threatening place in that context anyway.

    I once knew a girl that could curse really well. Like, she didn't hold shit back, she didn't throw "fuck" or "ass" or "shit" in every third word; but when she had something to say, she threw every emphasis in right where it belongs, actually using those words as intensifiers, creating interesting and amusing combination and even in some cases short streams of nonsense that still conveyed the proper emotion. It's like someone actually turned streams of obscenities into a fine art; I've never seen anyone else communicate so comfortably or so clearly.

    We live in a world where sending an e-mail to your boss stating you "don't know what's wrong yet because there's too much shit to wade through" can instantly get you fired. We just use euphamisms to indicate obscene concepts rather than single "obscene" words. The concept of isolated obscenity is obscene; preventing people from sharing shit you don't like is an aberration and we should be ashamed as a people for supporting this sort of behavior.
  • by treeves (963993) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @08:24PM (#23757215) Homepage Journal
    since all archive.org has for all the archives of alex.kozinski.com is pages saying

        Ain't nothin' here.

        Y'all best be movin' on, compadre.
  • by tygt (792974) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @08:27PM (#23757259)
    Should a judge with pictures of guns on his website recuse himself from a murder trial where a gun was involved?

    Of course not. Only if the judge's website had illegal porn should he be considered to have a conflict of interest.

  • Here ya go!! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Stanislav_J (947290) on Wednesday June 11, 2008 @09:22PM (#23757725)

    Cryptome posted a Yahoo cache of Kozinski's directory [cryptome.org] on its site.

    Some of the more interesting file names include:

    a.day.without.jews.wmv
    BBCCopsUndies.wmv
    Colo-rectalSurgeon.wav
    isitmanisitwoman.pps
    jewsdontcamp.mp3
    piss_diver.wmv
    Sheep_guy.jpg
    show.them.to.me.wmv
    testicle.interview.wmv

    Looks like Jewish groups may not appreciate his sense of humor as well as the anti-porn crowd. At any rate, I don't see much of anything there that looks from the file names alone to be hardcore. It really does look like a directory of miscellaneous stuff that came in "Look at this!" and "Check THIS out!" e-mails from friends that he just stored on the site for easy access.

  • UPDATE (Score:3, Informative)

    by Stanislav_J (947290) on Thursday June 12, 2008 @02:52AM (#23760071)

    In an updated version of the story, the L.A. Times now reporting that the trial has been suspended:

    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."

    One new wrinkle is that the good judge is at least partially trying to shift blame to his own son!

    After publication of an latimes.com article about his website Wednesday morning, the judge offered another explanation for how the material might have been posted to the site. Tuesday evening he had told The Times that he had a clear recollection of some of the most objectionable material and that he was responsible for placing it on the Web. By Wednesday afternoon, as controversy about the website spread, Kozinski was seeking to shift responsibility, at least in part, to his adult son, Yale. ["Yale??"]

    "Yale called and said he's pretty sure he uploaded a bunch of it," Kozinski wrote in an e-mail to Abovethelaw.com, a legal news website. "I had no idea, but that sounds right because I sure don't remember putting some of that stuff there."

    Or maybe it was one of his brothers, Harvard and Princeton....

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