East Coast judge to lead Kozinski inquiry

Chris Rizo Jun. 18, 2008, 12:48pm

Alex Kozinski

Marcy J.K. Tiffany

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline)-U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has named a panel to conduct the judicial misconduct investigation of 9th U.S. Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski.

Kozinski himself had called for the investigation after the Los Angeles Times reported that there were sexually explicit images on Kozinski's personal computer, which his wife, attorney Marcy J.K. Tiffany, told Legal Newsline belonged to their family.

The newspaper reported that Kozinski had posted lewd images and photos to his Internet site.

The Times' story came as he was presiding over a closely watched obscenity trial in Los Angeles federal court. Kozinski subsequently declared a mistrial in the case against filmmaker Ira Isaacs, 57, for importation or transportation of obscene material for sale.

Tiffany said the Times story is "riddled with half-truths, gross mischaracterizations and outright lies."

One significant mischaracterization is that Alex was maintaining some kind of 'Web site' to which he posted pornographic material," she said in an email to Legal Newsline.

Rather than having a cache of pornography, Tiffany said the images and videos were "a bunch of random files located in one of many folders stored on our family's file server."

The Kozinski investigation will be handled by the Philadelphia-based 3rd Circuit's Judicial Council, led by Chief Judge Anthony Scirica.

On the panel will be 3rd Circuit Judges Marjorie Rendell and Walter Stapleton; U.S. District Chief Judge Harvey Bartle III of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; and Chief Judge Garrett Brown of the District of New Jersey.

Kozinski was appointed to the San Francisco-based appeals court by President Ronald Reagan in 1985. He is considered by many legal observers a judicial conservative on most issues.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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