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Kozinski in Trouble Again Over Internet Porn Allegations

WASHINGTON — A former federal courts chief is demanding the impeachment or resignation of a prominent California-based appellate judge who is already facing scrutiny over raunchy Internet imagery.

In a heated, 38-page complaint that resurrects an old feud, the former courts administrator alleges that 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Alex Kozinski committed “felonies and other crimes” by temporarily turning off the courts’ Internet security system in May 2001.

“He robbed judges of both their Internet privacy and security … solely to ensure that he and some judges and some court staff could continue to download pornography illegally in their chambers while not being detected,” former Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts chief Leonidas Ralph Mecham declared.

Other judges have previously rejected similar charges, and Kozinski’s attorney dismissed the new complaint as a rehash. At the least, though, Mecham’s new complaint could roil the judicial waters.

While not pinpointing who allegedly looked at what, Mecham’s exclamation point-filled complaint against both Kozinski and 9th Circuit Judge Mary Schroeder of Arizona insinuates rampant access to pornography.

“In just one 28-day period, for instance, a Ninth Circuit study found that there were over 90,000 hits on 1,100 pornographic sites,” Mecham states. “In just one year fully 50 percent of the increased use of the Judiciary’s (Internet) bandwidth was to download pornography in the federal courts, on court computers by court officials and employees.”

Mecham asserted that “judging from the titles of the materials downloaded in the courts,” some material may have included “child pornography.” He did not give specifics.

Mecham filed his complaint with the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is already examining Kozinski’s apparent affiliation with an Internet site loaded with explicit, bizarre and humorous images. Kozinski has previously indicated the Web site was intended for private use.

“Alex is not into porn — he is into funny — and sometimes funny has a sexual character,” Kozinski’s wife, Marcy Tiffany, wrote in a memo published earlier this year on www.patterico.com.

Mecham’s complaint appears similar to what other federal judges have previously rejected.

“The matter was properly concluded seven years ago, there was no finding of judicial misconduct and (we) find no reason to revisit today those decisions,” Judge Thomas Hogan, chair of the executive committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States, stated in February, following an earlier Mecham missive.

Kozinski’s attorney, Mark Holscher, said Monday that the 3rd Circuit would have no reason to second-guess Judge Hogan’s assessment.

“It’s several years old,” Holscher said of Mecham’s core complaint, “and he was fully aware of what he needed to do if he wanted to file a complaint at the time.”

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