Thursday, June 3, 2010

Judges Series: Chief Judge Alex Kozinski

Later in 2010, Alex Kozinski, whose chambers are in Pasadena, California, will mark twenty-five years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the last three as Chief Judge.  In many ways, Chief Judge Kozinski needs no introduction.  The media has covered him extensively; see here, here, and for several pieces, here.  Recent mentions from 2010 are here and here.

Perhaps Kozinski's best-known media moment came several years ago when he nominated himself for (and won) the title of #1 Male Superhottie of the Federal Judiciary in a blog contest, noting, among other things, his earlier win on the Dating Game.  (Last month, Kozinski alluded to his hottie title in a dissenting opinion.)  In tandem with the light-hearted "Alex K.," though, is a substantive jurist and prolific writer.  Some items of note:

Nominated by President Reagan to serve on the Ninth Circuit in 1985, when only 35 years old.

Served from 1982-1985 as Chief Judge of the U.S. Claims Court, which is now the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

Clerked for then-Judge Anthony Kennedy of the Ninth Circuit and Chief Justice Warren Burger of the Supreme Court.

Graduated from UCLA, both college and law school.

Was managing editor of the law review and number one in his law school class (see page 256).

Born 1950 in Bucharest, Romania and came to the United States in 1962; lived in Maryland and then California.  Parents were both Holocaust survivors and father ran a small grocery store in California.

Recommends tight writing style of sci-fi author Richard Matheson to his clerks.

Opposed splitting the Ninth Circuit; see also here.

Substantively cleared in a judicial misconduct proceeding, stemming from allegations made by a disgruntled litigant.