Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in Barnyard Porn Scandal

June 12, 2008 -

The Chief Judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court is under scrutiny for maintaining a personal website with graphic sexual images while at the same time presiding over a closely-watched obscenity trial.

Judge Alex Kozinski, as GamePolitics has reported in the past, is a video game fan who has authored game reviews for the Wall Street Journal.

According to this morning's Los Angeles Times:

Kozinski acknowledged posting sexual content on his website. Among the images on the site were a photo of naked women on all fours painted to look like cows and a video of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal. He defended some of the adult content as "funny" but conceded that other postings were inappropriate.
 

The obscenity trial over which Kozinski was presiding included charges related to images of bestiality. At the request of the prosecutor, Kozinski issued a 48-hour stay of the proceedings.

There's an additional video game connection, of sorts. California's appeal of a lower court ruling which found the state's 2005 video game law unconstitutional is currently before the 9th Circuit. There's no reason to expect that Judge Kozinski's problems would impact the Court's review of the video game law, however.


Comments

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

Let he who has not fapped to bizarre porn online cast the first stone. And then get the hell off the internet because they're a damn liar.

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

Well, if the video is the one I think it is, it's actually somewhat humorous (in a disturbing "why the f*** would anybody put themselves in that situation!?" kind of way), and definitely not bestiality. It is available on Dailymotion and YouTube - the animal in question is a donkey - and has been up for quite a while, so it's not even in violation their TOS. Not to defend the judge (or condemn him), but this is something that needs a lot more context before any meaningful conclusions can be drawn. Anyone who doesn't realize this obviously hasn't seen very many blogs.

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

Judges are over-rated and need be exchanged for computers

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

I didn't know they let Furries be judges.

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

I'm not sure of the details, but was this some ftp site or the like that was accessed, or a full http index type thing?

If it was nothing more than a web-directory, then, to be honest, you can't really call that 'making available to the public', since it wasn't presented, or offered, or advertised it was simply there.

As for his standing trial in a decency case, well, I'm not sure I consider that hypocritical as such, at least, not if the site was not a 'public' one. If anything, the defence have less cause to argue with his judgement if it is shown that he isn't some of kind 'repent or burn in hell!' type character.

That said, UK culture is slightly different, when we found a Minister dead on Hampstead Heath wearing nothing but suspenders and with an orange in his mouth, I think there was more amused sympathy than outrage.


 

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

Lawrence Lessig has some interesting comments about this tempest in a teapot.

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

The Headline shocked me until i read "9th Circuit"

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

As I said before, porn addiction is more shameful than WoW addiction.

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

And Bestiality addiction is more shameful that porn addiction.

"The Good, the Bad, and the Videogame" Reviews on the best, worst, and controversial issues of Videogames. gryphonosiris.blogspot.com/

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

And furries are somewhere in between?

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

...
F***ing furries!!! *shot at for being a hypocrit*

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

I read this on Fark,but I wasn't aware he was on the vidja gamezz lable as well.

@Eville

He did more of a bestiality esque Spitzer.Why cows,though?

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

i take it you entirely deleted jack thompsons post that this was the proof he needed to bring down the "system" gp ? lol

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

I'm sorry but has game politics degenerated into a poo slinging chimp?

Since when did this site participate in such tactics? There's a tenious link at best with video games, was this really worthy of being post, is there that little news that actually has a dirct link to video games?

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

Sorry didn't see the part about him being a video game supportir, I dunno I thought they were doing the same thing as the woman who was part of a video game legislation and they reported on her alledged drug use and mortage payments, both of which have nothing to do with video game legislation. and really shouldn't have been in this site.

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

Um its also a trial related to free speech and obscenity.

 

You should recognize the importance of those words if you have been around this sight for even a short time.

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

This is reporting the news, plain and simple. This is a Judge who admits to being a video game fan. It would show bias if gamepolitics DIDN'T report this story since it shows a gamer (though a gamer who holds a judicial position) in a bad light. There is no bias here and I actually appreciate gamepolitics for bringing this story to light.

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

What makes you think this is an attack by GP on this judge?

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

For starters hes done alil work defending games and has rewviewed some,he also is a salwart defender of free speach as well as other thigns.

 

I is fuzzy brained mew

http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

(in need of a bad overhaul)

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

He didn't really do anything illegal per se, but as I've stated above, that's just...

...gross.  Seriously.  What in the world is so attractive about women painted to look like cows or farm animals?!  (I really do not want to know.)

However, the fact that he's maintaining this site at the same time as a trial with similar interests/issues is a no-no.

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

From Reason:

"Kozinski is also a great ally of the First Amendment, defending the free speech rights of flag burners and homophobes alike. All that, combined with his hatred of statism and his enthusiasm for the free market, has earned him a reputation as one of the most libertarian judges in the country."

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

No hypocrisy here, at least as far as the sexually explicit content is concerned.

Judge Kozinski is one of the most stalwart defenders of freedom of speech in the federal appellate courts. Regarding pornography on the Internet, he has argued that laws restricting pornography on the Internet threaten free speech.

"Children should be protected by their parents. I think the government should recognize that this is primarily a parental issue. These laws often have unintended consequences of chilling free speech; the government should not be in the business of trying to solve family and personal problems."

Does this argument sound familiar to anyone?

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

Whenever I read articles on this sort of act it makes me sort of glad that there is no way that cross species fertilization can happen with humans and animals. 

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

I don't remember any content on the internet being illegal.  That judge did nothing wrong.

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

are you sure ?:S

 

i know in the uk, that obscene pics of kids and sexual obuse etc are considered illegal. You can get jailed if they find them on your hard drive etc.

 

Not saying your wrong or anything, the US isnt the UK :) just an observation

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

Its the same in the US..

Posession of Chile Pornagraphy is Illegal in most, if not all, Civilized Countries.

 

Images that are being referred to in this story or even the case he's handling is a fuzzy area, but there are images on the internet that are most definately illegal.

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

Chile pornography????!!!  rotflmao!  I think you mean child pronography which is is illegal in many countries. However, what age range each country considers is different. The images that were reffered were images of people painted as animals and having sex.  Too weird for my taste but that isn't bestiality.

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

I guess I'm a little confused because I've now seen a few "news items" that deal not with games in particular but with events surrounding people who are tangentially connected to the games process.  Let me see if I can make my confusion clear.

A story about something happening to a prominent game creator?  Okay, that I can see.  One about a game law?  Sure, definitely.  One about a video game hating attorney?  Okay, why not?  One about a judge who happens to be a fan of video games?  Kinda streatching it.  A story about a video game law writer being in a political fight?  Again, streatching it out.  A story on a soldier who died and who played games?  Um...okay?

I guess I'm just curious why stories such as these are going up.  Is it one of those "If you've ever been involved in/with games, we'll report on it."  I guess I'm just getting a little concerned that the scope of the stories on this site are getting a little too broad.  Oh well, not that it's very important, it's just a concern of mine.

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

I assume you are referring to this piece and the Julia Boseman piece from yesterday.

I agree that they are peripheral to the game space, this one more so than Boseman. However, we have covered Judge Kozinski (briefly) for his gaming chops in the past, virtually all of the news reports mentioned his video game reviews for the WSJ. The fact that the California game law appeal sits in his circuit sealed the decision for me.

As for the Boseman piece, I'm sympathetic to those who felt her behavior was personal. However, in the sphere that GamePolitics covers, she is one of those who has actively tried to legislate video games. Twice. So, if, as an elected official, she used marijuana, didn't pay her mortgage (or her property taxes), I think it's something we can cover here. It certainly was big news in North Carolina.

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

The trial he is presiding over involves free speech, legal definitions of obscenity, the legality of materials that could be seen as obscene, and the distribution of said materials.

 

This is a precedent setting case(Because of how extreme the materials are) that could affect/effect(Fuck it im tired) games and other media.

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

You know, that would have been good information to have in the original post. 

 

Okay, I'm fine with this.  Never mind, move along.  Nothing to see here.

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

It was, just not in such explicit terms.

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

Picture yourself on a farm in the country,
With pulchritudinous porkers with looking glass styes,
Suddenly someone is there in the paddock,
The judge with perforated colon.

Alex on the farm with stallions.

 

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

 

He had pictures that are not breaking the law but vague enough to be called bestiality pics…..perhaps he’s not the one he’s strange but the world around him…

 

I is fuzzy brained mew

http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

(in need of a bad overhaul)

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

Where in the artical were they called "bestiality pics"? They weren't.

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

Hypocrite? No.

But if he maintains a site with bestiality images, while ruling on a trial involving bestiality, isnt that a legal nono? Then again I am not versed in legalese.

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

Eh, so what?

With the exception of copyright issues stemming from the songs he had on the site, owning and looking at porn is not illegal.  Nothing in that article indicates (other than the music thing) that he's done anything wrong.

Besides, I would expect someone making a ruling on obscenity to know what the hell he's talking about.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

there's a certain presumption that judges maintain decorum. Personally, I don't care what he's into (as long as it's not illegal), but for a man in his position this was rather reckless.

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

From what I understand these images (non of which are illegal or even that shocking in my estimation) were on his own private website that he allegedly never used court computers to access.  Furthermore, there were no links to these images from the website proper; someone knew or lucked onto the subdirectory name.

I understand and agree that judges are expected to maintain a certain level of professional decorum but nothing I've seen so far indicates that any of this personal stuff bled into his job.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

Two words.... Oiy vey!!!

"The Good, the Bad, and the Videogame" Reviews on the best, worst, and controversial issues of Videogames. gryphonosiris.blogspot.com/

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

 He did not pull a Spitzer. too many people on here keep cying hypocrisy when they obviously don't know what it means. So this guy likes porn and has his own porn site. So what! There is no law that says if you are a judge you have to hate porn. He never said he despises porn in any way. He is being attacked unfairly because certain groups think his love of pornography is going to affect his decision on this obscenity case he is presiding over. As long as he is objective and makes his decision on the basis of law, I see no problems or controversy here. Judges take an oath not to let their personal opinions influence their rulings. Until someone can prove he broke that oath, I am unconvinced of any wrongdoing. 

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

Not so much hypocrisy as bad form, and potentially damning to the, I would imagine, defense's case.  If a judge knows that they might have mitigating circumstances that will adversely affect a trial, they should recuse themselves, or step down, from overseeing the proceedings.  Granted, they take oaths to ensure that their private affairs do not affect judicial review, but a quick glance at the legal system will net you more than a fair share of judges using their own moral compasses and beliefs to dictate, for or counter to, the written law.

The issue at hand now is with a judge who has a socially unacceptable site that has, potentially, beastiality on it, the prosecution will likely conclude that the people can not have a fair case with a biased judge.  If the case goes forward and the judge stays on the bench, it will be overturned on appeal regardless of which side the the ball lands on.  If it goes the prosecution's way, the defense can argue that the judge was unfair against them to prove that he wasn't biased.  If the ball falls to the defense, then the prosecution can argue that the judge was no impartial.  Either way, there will be more filings, and most likely the first round will be declared a mistrial or overturned on appeal.

It is not a matter of hypocrisy, but a matter of fairness in the system....as loaded as that term is.  He should step down to ensure that the trial can go on, granted most likely set back a few months, but would ensure a nominally fair judge...assuming the new judges doesn't have a pechant for something equally salacious.

 

To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful. Edward R. Murrow

To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful. Edward R. Murrow

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

Well in all fairness they are on a 48 hour holding pattern to evaluate the situation.  I suspect the judge will excuse himself from the case, as he should.

His page was in poor taste, but poor taste isn't illegal.

-Loudspeaker
"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

The above post is mine. I forgot to sign in. 

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

agreed 100% with your big post :)

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

I don't know about the Spitzer thing. This guy wasn't hypocritical (at least from what I could tell from the above story). He's just a judge in a case, that happens to deal with obscenity. How exactly does "Guy likes pr0n--story at 10!" get in the news, anyway?

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

and a video of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal

 

err.. hilarious? really.. uh... funny... yeah... oh no wait WIERD. WIERD was the word i was looking for.

 

@gp do we have a link to the site in question? Not for that particular image or anything, just to get a feel of what this guy is like, if his personality is expressed through his personal website. Its an interesting situation that a person can have  two seemingly incongruent sides to their personality!

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

I understand the site has been taken down. I believe it was alex.kozinski.com or .org... mentioned somewhere in the LA Times piece.

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

Yuh.... Uh-huh.... a "feel of what kinda guy" he says.

Re: Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in

Oooooooops. He looks like Wayne Knight to me. Poor guy, He pulled a Spitzer.

 
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