He Made Us All Victims and AccomplicesJudge Kozinski was long the youngest and cutest federal appeals court judge.
For 20 years, I’ve felt it was too early to speak up about Judge Alex Kozinski.
She, effectively, kept her options open for 20 years about someday becoming, you know, another Mrs. Kozinski.
Now I fear it’s too late.But now Judge Kozinski’s a creepy 67-year-old.
By Dahlia LithwickAfter all, who is more representative of the Old Dying WASP Protestant Country Club America than Judge Kozinski with his Bela Lugosi accent?
The first time I met Alex Kozinski was in 1996. I was clerking for the chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and there was an orientation for new clerks in San Francisco. One of my co-clerks and I were introduced to the already legendary, lifetime-tenured young judge at a reception, and we talked for a while. I cannot recall what we talked about. I remember only feeling quite small and very dirty. Without my prompting, my former co-clerk described this interaction in an email to me this week. “He completely ignored me and appeared to be undressing you with his eyes,” he wrote. “I had never seen anyone ogle another person like that and still have not seen anything like it. Was so uncomfortable to watch, and I wasn’t even the subject of the stare.”
The first time I spoke to Judge Kozinski on the phone came weeks later, when I called his chambers late at night. Our judge had a sitting in the same city as Judge Kozinski, and I had made plans with one of Kozinski’s then-clerks, an old college friend, to meet late at night for a drink. When I called his chambers, Judge Kozinski himself answered the phone. I introduced myself and asked to speak to his clerk, explaining that we had plans to meet up. The judge asked where I was. I said I was in my hotel room. Then he said, “What are you wearing?”…
For years, I excused myself because I believed that the casual degradation of women that emanated from Judge Kozinski’s orbit was the death rattle of an old America: a symbol of the sad, broken longing for the world of Mad Men, a world that ended as soon as women reached parity with men in law school.
If we can’t trust Matthew Weiner’s theories about what the old America was like before he was born, next you’ll be telling us we can’t trust Harvey Weinstein’s Oscar-nominated movies either!
* By the way, I wasn’t aware until the Judge Kozinski Imbroglio that The Dating Game recruited so many People With Agents. Bachelors included: Judd Apatow, Bill Bixby, Danny Bonaduce (I knew his extremely respectable brother), David Cassidy, Dick Clark, Richard Dawson, Robin Gibb, Phil Hartman, Ron Howard, Casey Kasem, Andy Kaufman, Paul Lynde, Steve Martin, Michael Richards, Adam West, Tom Selleck, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Michael Jackson.