Blogs I published in late August of 2015, with documentary evidence, show just how much propriety Judge Kozinski cares about himself.
This post covers the appointment and "service" of the last of the 4 judges (so far) who were appointed to the Kozinski litigation in the Central District of California.
Judges # 1, 2 and 3 recused for reasons I described in separate blogs, for each judge.
This is how judge A. Wallace Tashima was appointed, a judge who has first been appointed to the federal bench in 1980, to the 9th Circuit in 1996, and "assumed senior status" (cleared the path for appointment of another judge while keeping his full salary and benefits) in 2004.
At the time of appointment Judge A. Wallace Tashima was 80 (eighty) years of age.
A good choice and a proper level of energy to handle a class action.
Kozinski could not pick a judge for his case, out of his own subordinates, any better.
Alex Kozinski, as of January 29, 2014 the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, delegated his authority to appoint judges to district courts to his future successor (one must earn the succession, mustn't one?), his subordinate Judge Sidney Thomas, and Judge Sidney Thomas obediently appointed to Judge Kozinski's own case Judge Kozinski's own subordinate at that time, Judge A. Wallace Tashima.
Piece of cake.
Judge A. Wallace Tashima, who obviously did not want to irk his boss Alex Kozinski, did not squeak against such an appointment, which was contrary to the Code of Judicial Conduct - as was already cogently explained in the letter of recusal of the previous judge, and the letter from the Committee on Judicial Code of Conduct.
Instead, Judge A. Wallace Tashima, after Alex Kozinski dropped hints in a public "Key Note Speech" at a conference held for him by his buddy, Professor Arthur Miller's, law school, during the pendency of Alex Kozinski's own lawsuit - that district judges' discretion should not really be trusted with too much money, that plaintiffs' attorneys in class actions lawsuits should similarly not be trusted with too much money - after all of that, Judge A. Wallace Tashima obediently resumed proceedings after the "court-ordered mediation", and then approved the settlement that was agreeable for Kozinski and his wife, while rejecting objections of another objector as "untimely".
At this time, the decision of judge Tashima is being appealed by the rejected objector to - guess - the court where both Judge Kozinski (party to the litigation) and Judge Tashima (the judge who decided the case in the court below) are judges.
The 9th Circuit, headed by Kozinski's "earned" successor Sidney Thomas, did not recuse from the appeal, as it did not recuse previously from assigning judges to Kozinski's case in the court below, in violation of rules of judicial conduct.
Note that no attempts were made by attorneys or parties on appeal to have the case removed to another Circuit court, point out any appearances of impropriety, or have the Circuit court recused from the case.
Everybody is afraid for their law licenses which can fly out the door if they say a word. So, they stay mum.
By the way, the "mediation order" mentioned in the docket as Docket entry # 5 does not list names of any judges
- it is a "per curiam" decision of the entire court, which means that it is also the decision of:
- Alex Kozinski himself - as to his own case; and of
- A. Wallace Tahima - Kozinski's colleague and the judge in the court below dealing with an appeal from his own decision
Kozinski ceded Chief Judgeship as of December 1, 2014 to Judge Sidney Thomas who has earned his position by obediently keeping the case that had to be transferred out of the 9th Circuit, in the 9th Circuit, which Kozinski calls, in a juvenile fashion, "The Hollywood Circuit".
Yet, it is not Hollywood, ladies and gentlemen. It is a circus, of the worse kind. It is an insult to the position of trust that Kozinski, Thomas, Tashima and all judges on the 9th Circuit who allows this appeal to proceed in that Circuit are betraying.
Will Alex Kozinski, Sidney Thomas, A. Wallace Tashima and all other judges of the 9th Circuit (a court that deals with death penalty cases and where each and every judge must be squeaky clean) who condone this perversity of justice be impeached by Congress and removed from office for bad behavior?
Or did Alex Kozinski exercise shrewd foresight and invited Congressmen to his movie-nights-with-booze-in-the-courthouse, so that they are partners in crime and will not say a word?