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9th Circuit chief judge escapes porn-at-work punishment

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The Judicial Council of the 3rd Circuit recently released its opinion dismissing a porn-related misconduct case against 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Alex Kozinski.

The complaint, brought by a court administrator in November 2008, accused Kozinski and two other judges of disabling the court’s Internet filters to download illegal pornography and pirated music without being detected. The complaint accused the judge of compromising the computer “security system for judges all over the country.”

This was Kozinski’s second run-in with the Judicial Council of the Judicial Conference of the United States, which makes policy regarding administration of the U.S. courts. The council had previously admonished him for posting sexually explicit photos and videos on the Internet.

According to the new opinion, Kozinski admitted his error, apologized for it, recognized its impact on the judiciary and committed to changing his conduct to avoid any recurrence.

Because the Judicial Conference of the United States has already adopted recommendations addressing the issues of Internet security and privacy in the courts, it ruled, “the complaint seeks to reopen this final resolution and will be dismissed.” The opinion did not identify Kozinski or any of the other parties by name. 

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