Two California judges were censured by the judicial disciplinary commission for having sexual relations in their courthouse chambers.
The most severe public reprimand the Commission on Judicial Performance can exercise against a judge was levied on Orange County Judge Scott Steiner for having sex with two of his former Chapman University law students and Kern County Judge Cory Woodward for having violated the chamber during his ten month relationship with a court clerk.
Neither of the judges, however, were removed from the bench, reported SFGate.
The commission observed that having sex in the chamber, even if it is consensual, is the “the height of irresponsible and improper behavior by a judge,” and demonstrates “utter disrespect for the dignity and decorum of the court.”
According to SFGate, Steiner had sex in his chambers in 2012 with an attorney and an intern, both of whom had been his students when he taught law at Chapman.
Woodward, who sent “notes of a sexual nature” to a court clerk during court proceedings, also had sex with her during his dalliance, which carried on from July 2012 through May 2013.
Presciently, the 1979 movie And Justice for All depicted corruption in a Maryland court system, which included a judge having sex in his chambers. At the time, it was criticized for being too outrageous. Evidently, the movie wasn’t quite that outrageous after all.