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Kozinski Calls for Investigation of Himself Over Racy Web Site

Publication Date: 
June 13, 2008
Daily Journal
John Roemer

Professor Deborah L. Rhode is quoted in The Daily Journal about the controversy surrounding Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Alex Kozinski:

"Judges who occupy a position of such public visibility and authority ought to conform to our highest aspirations and ensure that their private behavior doesn't become a public scandal," said Deborah L. Rhode, a Stanford University School of Law professor who is director of the school's Center on Ethics.

Rhode said she would not rule out a scenario in which senior circuit judges go to Kozinski and ask him to step aside as chief.

"So far, we don't have a fully informed picture," she said. "Can he continue to command the respect of his peers? His conduct raises substantial concerns. Did he take reasonable precautions to keep the material on his Web site from public view?"

She and Kozinski recently clashed over the judge's effort to interview Stanford Law School students as prospective clerks earlier than the rules permit, Rhode said.

"We had a meaningful exchange of views," she said. "He appears to have a sense of entitlement and to feel an insularity from accountability."