According to the Washington Post, 15 women have come forward to accuse a prominent U.S. appeals court judge of sexual misconduct. The allegations stretch over the course of decades and involve inappropriate touching and comments. And now, after so many allegations, Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is calling it quits.
In a statement that a battle over accusations would not be good for the judiciary, he remarked that he would step down effective immediately, according to Fox News.
Kozinski, speaking with law clerks, claimed that he feels terrible that so many of his clerks felt uncomfortable in the workplace. He claims that it was never his intent to make anybody feel uncomfortable and he sincerely apologizes.
Leah Litman, a law professor at the University of California, among many other women who have stepped forward, disagrees with Kizinski. She claims that the judge talked about having sexual relations with her and inappropriately pinched the side of her leg at a restaurant the night before they appeared together on a panel at her school in July.
Christine Miller, who is a retired U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge, said that Kozinski grabbed her breasts during a car ride in 1986 after a legal community function in the Baltimore area. She claims that he grabbed her after she had already denied several advances earlier in the evening.
Numerous other stories by a handful of other women have all caused Kozinski to step aside. The 9th Circuit has also opened a misconduct inquiry that was transferred last week to the Judicial Council of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.
Kozinski, 67, was a chief judge of the 9th Circuit, which is the largest federal appeals court in the United States. He began his time as the chief judge in 2007 and ended in 2014.
According to the Washington Times, Judge Kozinski was appointed in 1985 by President Ronald Reagan.
“I’ve always had a broad sense of humor and a candid way of speaking to both male and female law clerks alike,” the judge wrote, according to the Washington Times. “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.”
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