U.S. Ninth Circuit - The FindLaw 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Kozinski Joins the List of Weinsteins

Few names reverberate in the media today like 'Weinstein.'

It's no longer just a name; it's a label. If you see it in a headline, it means "a sexual harasser who used his power to prey on women."

"Kozinski" is like that. It used to mean a judge of exceptional intellect and a talent for writing, but it doesn't mean that anymore.

"Open Secret"

Like Harvey Weinstein, Alex Kozinski's name has been tainted by his behavior. Seven women -- including a law professor -- have accused the federal judge of sexual misconduct.

According to reports, Kozinki's conduct was an "open secret" for decades. The Washington Post broke the story with allegations that the judge showed a former clerk pornographic images on his computer and asked if it aroused her sexually.

Heidi Bond, who clerked for Kozinski at the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, said the images included college-age students who were naked. She said it happened more than once and it was not related to any case.

The Post said six former clerks or junior staffers alleged that Kozinski subjected them to inappropriate sexual conduct or comments. Kozinksi denied showing porn in his chambers or intentionally offending anyone, but then there were seven.

What Do Single Girls Do?

Nancy Rapoport, special counsel at the University of Law Vegas, said Kozinski asked her out for drinks when she was clerking. She thought it was a social meeting for all his clerks, but it turned out it was just the two of them.

"What do single girls in San Francisco do for sex?" he asked her, according to Above the Law.

The incidents date back over decades, and were left behind largely as rumors over the years. But in 2008, Kozinski was caught in a scandal that resulted in a public reprimand.

Then chief judge of the appeals court, Kozinski maintained a publicly available website with images and videos of naked men, women, masturbation, public sex, and other material he admitted was "degrading...and just gross."

Kozinksi told the Los Angeles Times it was a mistake. He thought the site was private.

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