Federal Judge On Obscenity Case Posted Porn Images On His Web Server

from the is-that-good-or-bad? dept

A lot of attention is suddenly getting turned on judge Alex Kozinski, the 9th Circuit chief judge, who (while in the middle of a trial about obscenity) was discovered to have posted pornographic images to his web server in a way in which they were accessible to the public. He didn't post them to a specific page or anything. It's just that he put them in an unprotected directory, and if you knew where to look, you could find them. Basically, it looks like he was just using the directory for personal storage, not realizing that it was publicly accessible, though, at one point he appears to claim he uploaded the images by accident. Some of the images were... extreme. Judge Kozinski described them as "funny" and "I think it's odd and interesting. It's part of life."

Some are saying that he should recuse himself from the obscenity trial, noting that he's no longer objective. However, considering that obscenity is supposed to be based on local standards, that doesn't seem right. If even the judge finds those types of images "funny" or "interesting" and "a part of life," then perhaps that's making it pretty clear that they're not obscene. Saying he needs to recuse himself seems to be presupposing that the images are obscene, which doesn't seem quite right. Rather than being used as a way to tar the judge, doesn't this just raise questions about obscenity laws in the first place?
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: alex kozinski, judges, obscenity

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    John Wilson, 12 Jun 2008 @ 7:43am


    Just jow do you know he's biased in favour of the what is being defended in the case?

    Anyway, all judges have personal biases and opinions about lots of things just like most other people. Impartiality does not rule those out completely it is a safeguard and assurance that they are impartial with respect to the case in front of them. Not that they're unbiased.

    One of the best ways to assure that is that the person involved is aware of his/her bias.

    Bias tends to become an issue only when you (or anyone else) disagrees with that bias.

    If we disqualify everyone who is tech ignorant from holding judicial office the the perhaps we should demand the same from other players in the legal system from barristers to jurors.



Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.