Judge Kozinski Announces Retirement

9th Circuit appeals court judge Alex Kozinski is resigning immediately due to 15 allegations of sexual harassment.

In a statement provided by his lawyer, Kozinski apologized, saying that he “had a broad sense of humor and a candid way of speaking to both male and female law clerks alike” and that, “in doing so, I may not have been mindful enough of the special challenges and pressures that women face in the workplace.”

"It grieves me to learn that I caused any of my clerks to feel uncomfortable; this was never my intent,” he said. “For this I sincerely apologize."

His full statement is here.

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    I can't help but think (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by CST on Mon Dec 18, 2017 at 12:51:59 PM EST
    When I see these kinds of announcements - How many?

    As in, how many women stopped working, resigned, left the field, quit, were fired, etc... because of this one person's @sshole behavior that is now in the news losing their job.

    Thinking of people like Lauren Green and Mira Sorvino right now.

    The part that got to me was the classically (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Peter G on Mon Dec 18, 2017 at 01:44:46 PM EST
    subjunctive "in doing so, I may not have been mindful enough of ...." Why in the world could he not, at this point, have had the decency to say "I now realize, many years after I should have, that in doing so I was painfully and inexcusably oblivious to ...."

    There's something setting my teeth on (none / 0) (#2)
    by Anne on Mon Dec 18, 2017 at 01:30:20 PM EST
    edge about
    "I may not have been mindful enough of the special challenges and pressures that women face in the workplace."

    I might have felt better about it he had gone on to say: "because they have to work with a-holes like me."

    And does he think that just because complaints werem't lodged by men - assuming that's the case - that the men who worked for him were not just okay with how the women were being treated, but were okay with his "broad sense of humor and candid way of talking?"

    I wonder: what would his reaction have been had his clerks - male and female - given as good as they got, if they had adopted his same sense of humor and candid way of talking?  I'm thinking he may have felt they were being insubordinate.

    The appropriateness of someone's behavior should not hinge on the gender of the person or persons at whom it is directed.  People are entitled to respect, period.  But it seems there's still an attitude of having earned the right to act however one wants on the basis of seniority or power (and after you pay your dues in the trenches, you, too, can treat people like crap and not give a damn who you offend).

    I don't know - that "special challenges" thing has a feel of "sigh...I wish women would make up their minds."

    I did read a statement by a male clerk (none / 0) (#8)
    by Towanda on Mon Dec 18, 2017 at 06:11:37 PM EST
    saying that he had not realized the reason why a woman clerk changed so much throughout their experience. It was terribly sad. That male clerk had more compassion than does this bozo judge who tormented her.

    I don't understand how this stuff transpires. (none / 0) (#4)
    by Chuck0 on Mon Dec 18, 2017 at 01:53:36 PM EST
    I've been in the workplace for 41 years. Starting at 17 in the US Navy. I have been a supervisor and a people manager. I have had female bosses and worked in departments where nearly all of my co-workers were female.

    I do not understand these sexual situations transpire or come about. I know it happens. I have winced in the past when a younger male co-worker at my current job, once mentioned the "eye-candy" in the department. I never considered work the place for flirtation.

    I will confess that in those 41 years, I have rarely, if ever, socialized with co-workers. It's just never been the place I look for friendships or relationships. I go to work to earn money. I am professional with everyone. I don't flirt, don't make sexual innuendos, don't  tell inappropriate jokes. It's not hard. It's actually really, really easy.

    I guess it's a certain personality trait that looks at the workplace as a site for sexual conquest.

    Exactly, your last sentence (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Towanda on Mon Dec 18, 2017 at 05:23:23 PM EST
    gets it. It's not about friendship. It's not really about sex.

    It's about power.


    Another aspect of this situation (none / 0) (#5)
    by Peter G on Mon Dec 18, 2017 at 04:15:38 PM EST
    that is bothering me is that Judge Kozinski has for many years functioned as a "feeder judge" to Supreme Court clerkships -- the most prestigious of all jobs for recent law school graduates. That is, many of his clerks (legal research and editorial assistants) went on to clerk at the Supreme Court for Justice O'Connor, or Justice Kennedy, or Justice Breyer, inter alia, on his recommendation, and the Justices looked to him for such recommendations. Did these clerks never confide in the Justices (O'Connor in particular), with whom law clerks have a highly confidential and privileged (in both senses), if not in many instances intimate (in no improper sense) relationship, about their experience with Kozinski? Any of the Justices could have spoken with him about the effect his conduct was having on some of the legal elite -- the women in particular -- who worked or might have worked with him, and could have warned him that some day this behavior was going to come home to roost and in all likelihood end his career.

    An interesting (none / 0) (#7)
    by KeysDan on Mon Dec 18, 2017 at 06:02:33 PM EST
    remembrance by Slate writer, Dahlia Lithwick, encapsulated by "since every one knew about it...it must be OK.  It never was."  Kozinski's retirement was immediate; hopefully, he will not look toward, or be granted, senior status (part time).  He can, at age 67 and 32  years service, retire at full salary.

    In federal court terminology (none / 0) (#9)
    by Peter G on Mon Dec 18, 2017 at 07:15:16 PM EST
    retiring is not the same as assuming senior status. Kozinski has announced his retirement. As a result, he is no longer a judge at all, although by tradition he can continue to use the honorific title for himself (although he very well may not), and might anticipate others' addressing him by that title.