Appellate judges in the United States occasionally hear criminal cases at the District Court level when they have free time on their calendar, and by chance Chief Justice of the Ninth Circuit Alex Kozinski was randomly given United States vs. Ira Isaacs, a pornography case which will be based on Miller vs. California  (1973), which deals with local community standards. Isaacs is accused of selling and distributing videos depicting bestiality and other beastly images. Right now they are in  the midst of difficult jury selection (nobody wants to view the videos in evidence.) But not so fast!

The L.A. Times this week broke a story concerning pornographic content found on a personal and publicly accessible website maintained by Judge Kozinski, which raises conflict of interest issues. The site has now been locked, but according to the Times, the material included a photo of naked women on all fours painted to look like cows, a video of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal, images of masturbation and public and contortionist sex, a slide show striptease featuring a transsexual, a series of photos of women’s crotches as seen through snug fitting clothing or underwear, and content with themes of defecation and urination. Questioned about the content, Judge Kozinski told the Times that some of the material was inappropriate, although he defended other sexually explicit content as "funny." The Times in its headline story today states that Kozinski granted a 48 hour stay before the commencement of trial after the prosecutor requested time to explore "a potential conflict of interest concerning the court having a … sexually explicit website with similar material to what is on trial here."

The American public, along with the rest of the world, is discovering yet again that the mask of office which adorns authority’s face is but decoration, and fails totally to hide the other.