SAN FRANCISCO — The sexual misconduct allegations that have cut a swath through Congress brought down a prominent member of the judicial branch Monday with the resignation of Alex Kozinski, a federal appeals court judge known for his blunt and colorful legal opinions.

Kozinski, a 67-year-old member and former chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the nation’s largest federal appeals court, said in a statement that a battle over the accusations would not be good for the judiciary.

He retired, effective immediately.

The move came days after the 9th Circuit opened a misconduct inquiry following the first in a pair of Washington Post stories that said 15 women – some of whom worked for him as law clerks or in other positions – accused him of groping them, making lewd comments or showing them pornography.

Kozinski, who was known to have a bawdy side well before his resignation, said that while speaking in a “candid way” with male and female clerks, he “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,” he said. “For this I sincerely apologize.”

The 9th Circuit hears cases from nine Western states, including California and Arizona.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.