Congress Should Impeach Kozinski!

By Retired Judge Darrell White

It has been reported that Judge Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge of the Ninth Federal Circuit Court of Appeal, posted – on his publicly accessible web site – content that included sexual-fetish videos and bestiality images. Meanwhile, this judge had been presiding over a highly publicized obscenity trial, which was suspended when the prosecutor handling the case detected a potential conflict of interest for a judge with a sexually explicit website to hear this case. When confronted by the media, Kozinski said that the photos were for his private use and he was unaware the content could be viewed by the general public. Apparently unrepentant, Kozinski explained, “It’s part of life.” California U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein has remarked, “If this is true, this is unacceptable for a federal court judge.”

Well, if it is unacceptable, is it also contrary to the “good behaviour (sic)” requirement for a federal judge to hold office? Historically, impeachment has been used whenever judges disregarded public interests, affronted the will of the people, or introduced arbitrary power by seizing the role of policy-maker. Previous generations used this tool far more frequently than today’s generation. And because the grounds for impeachment were deliberately kept broad, articles of impeachment have described everything from drunkenness and profanity to judicial high-handedness and bribery as reasons for removal from the federal bench.

While there may be 300 million opinions in the United States today, only 435 opinions really count concerning Judge Kozinski’s misconduct. And those belong to the congressmen whose sworn responsibility it is to initiate impeachment proceedings under Article I, Section 2, Clause 5 of the United States Constitution. If they fail to act, Congress will have issued a continued smiley face of “good Behaviour” (sic) to Judge Kozinski under Article III, Section 1 of that same Constitution. Most importantly, like it or not, that silence would send a message to America’s youth concerning what is now acceptable conduct. As we pray for Judge Kozinski and his family, may we pray for our sick nation.

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