Former Clerk Claims Judge Alex Kozinski Showed Her Porn

Judge Alex Kozinski
J. David Ake/AP

Heidi Bond, who clerked for eminent Judge Alex Kozinski on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, is claiming the Judge acted strangely towards her, including showing her a pornographic image.

Now a romance novelist under the pen-name Courtney Milan, Bond wrote an extensive blog post describing what she sees as her mistreatment during her year under Kozkinski’s tutelage. She describes being shown photographs of “a handful of naked college-age people supposedly at a party where other people were clothed and drinking beer.”

“In one of those photos, a man and a woman were sitting naked on a couch,” she wrote.

Bond also describes being kissed on the check, being called a “slave,” and being asked if she “still loved” the Romanian-born Kozinski.

Kozinski is widely regarded as one of the most influential appellate judges of his era. Appointed to the appellate bench in 1985 by President Ronald Reagan, his libertarian-infused legal philosophy has had a major impact on the jurisprudence of trademark, copyright, criminal procedure, the Second Amendment, and more. Recently, he dissented in his notoriously liberal circuit’s decision to block President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

Kozinski also has a decided reputation for eccentricity. He frequently peppers his opinions with California surfer lingo and unusual, often humorous, narrative passages. In 2008,  the Los Angeles Times reported he had a file server running containing bizarre, sexually explicit pictures and videos.

Among law students, Kozinski has a reputation of running perhaps the harshest of all clerkships, demanding dedicated 24/7 service, but is also known as one of the top “feeder judges” to the ultimate post-law school prize: clerkships on the Supreme Court.

Much of Bond’s account focuses on these demands, in addition to what she sees as sexual misconduct. “He could make our phones beep by pressing the intercom button. Two beeps meant, ‘drop everything, grab pen and paper, and run to his office.’ Sometimes he’d summon us all, or he’d summon some of us and not the others, or he’d just want one of us,” she writes.

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