Sexual impropriety once again raises its multi-faceted, sordid head. As if members of the U.S. House and Senate, business titans, and celebs aren’t enough, the judiciary now gets its turn at the harassment lynching tree. Ancient claims, often alleged by unidentified women are all that are needed to bring down the powerful in the current climate.
The latest is Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Alex Kozinski. We’re no fans of the liberal, frequently overturned U.S. Circuit Court, but Alex Kozinski, a Reagan appointee on the bench since 1985 is decidedly unlike his fellow jurists. His few campaign contributions were not large and made in the early 1990s, but they all went to Republican congressional candidates. He served as chief judge of the appellate court for seven years.
Judge Kozinski’s personal background contributed to his broader view. He was born in Communist Rumania and immigrated to the U.S. with his Holocaust survivor parents when he was 12. His background made him a supporter of the Second Amendment. Among his many notable quotes is this:
“My excellent colleagues have forgotten these bitter lessons of history. The prospect of tyranny may not grab the headlines the way vivid stories of gun crime usually do. But few saw the Third Reich coming until it was too late. The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed only for those exceptionally rare circumstances when all other rights have failed. A free people can only afford to make this mistake once.”
Yet, none of this background explains his bizarre predilections. In his case, there is no presumption of innocence. His actions are a repeat performance.
Just days ago, Heidi Bond —- who as a romance novelist uses the pseudonym Courtney Milan —- told The Washington Post that Kozinski showed her pornography three times in his chambers while she was clerking for him over a decade ago. Four other women who previously worked for Kozinski have since followed suit, saying he also acted improperly towards them, lacing his conservation with sexual innuendo. Except for Bond, Judge Kozinski’s accusers remain anonymous saying they feared “retaliation.” Other former Kozinski clerks contacted by the newspaper denied experiencing any harassment.
The judge, described as “brilliant and possessing a wry sense of humor,” is decidedly a mixed bag. n 1992 Judge Kozinski authored the foreword to a handbook titled, “Sexual Harassment in Employment Law.”
Constitutional-law professor Josh Blackman writing for National Review provides insight into the legality 0f Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Arizona law. Kozinski dissented. Read his reasoning on this contentious issue.
He may be brilliant and funny, but he has a decided disconnect. Similar allegations against Judge Kozinski emerged in 2008. At the time, his lawyer wife, Marcy J.K. Tiffany, sent this email* attempting to explain the reasons he had pornography on his computer.
The time has come for Judge Kozinski, age 67, to retire from his lifetime appointment. With President Trump naming his replacement, conservatives can breathe easily.
* H/T Patterico’s Pontifications