The Unofficial Judge Alex Kozinski Site

Judge Alex Kozinski (born July 23, 1950) is a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Appointed by President Ronald Reagan on November 7, 1985, Kozinski has won supporters from the left and the right with his common-sense decisions and libertarian instinct. His writing is clear and often humorous, and has been featured in mainstream publications such as Forbes and Slate.

He was born in Bucharest, Romania but his parents, both Holocaust survivors, brought him to America in 1962 (he was only 12). They settled in Los Feliz, California and his father, Moses, ran a small grocery store there.

Kozinski attended John Marshall High School and UCLA. He received his J.D. from UCLA Law School in 1975 (he was one of the top students) and went on to clerk for then-Ninth Circuit Judge Anthony Kennedy and Chief Justice Warren Burger. Then he spent a few years in private practice before going to work in the White Hosue counsel's office for then-President Ronald Regan. Kozinski received a job as chief judge at the newly-formed Federal Claims Court. Then, at the age of 35, Regan appointed him to the Ninth Circuit, making him the youngest federal appeals court judge in the country.


Others have written about Judge Kozinski.

California Lawyer: The Annotated Alex [to be scanned] (January 1998)
LA Times: On Jurist's Case Over His Ties to a Killer
Legal Affairs: The Big Kozinski (Profile)


Judge Kozinski is a prolific writer. We have tried to assemble a relatively comprehensive collection of his work.

Interview: The Dating Game [looking for a copy] (bachelor #2, chosen, won trip to the world-renowned Guadalajara Bowling Tournament, was stood up)
Law Article: A Market-Oriented Revision of the Patent System [PDF scan] (1974)
Law Debate: It Is A Constitution We Are Expounding: A Debate [PDF scan] (with J.D. Williams) (1987)
Law Review: A Tribute to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger (March 1987)
WSJ Review: Torts Are No Piece of Cake (6 October 1988)
WSJ Opinion: Hunt for Laws' 'True' Meaning Subverts Justice (31 January 1989)
WSJ Review: Life is Not a Novel (review of a book about Ayn Rand) (18 July 1989)
Law Intro: Of Profligacy, Piracy, and Private Property [PDF scan] (1990)
WSJ Review: Guide to Nintendo Shopping (31 January 1990)
Law Article: Who's Afraid of Commercial Speech? (with Stuart Banner) (May 1990)
NYT Review: Trouble in Santa Teresa (review of Sue Grafton) (27 May 1990)
WSJ Review: Trouble in Super Marioland (27 July 1990)
WSJ Review: Puzznic and Other Video Enigmas (20 March 1991)
Law Article: Confessions of a Bad Apple (defense of clerk hiring practices) (April 1991)
WSJ Opinion: Thomas Affair: A Valuable Civics Lesson (24 October 1991)
CJR Review: The Bulwark Brennan Built: Sullivan and the First Amendment (1 November 1991)
WSJ Review: Judging Between Archrivals (review of video game systems) (24 December 1991)
Law Speech: The Wrong Stuff (how to lose an appeal) (21 January 1992)
Law Review: Scholarship of the Absurd: Bob Bork Meets The Bald Soprano (dismissing Antitrust Economics on Trial) (May 1992)
TNR Review: Color and Caution: Reviewing "The Color-Blind Constitution" (February 1993)
Law Article: The Anti-History and Pre-History of Commercial Speech (with Stuart Banner) (March 1993)
Law Article: A Penumbra Too Far (guide to constitutional interpretation) (with Eugene Volokh) (May 1993)
ABA Review: The View From the Bench (review of tips for winning on appeal) (May 1993)
WSJ Review: The Nintendo Story (11 May 1993)
Law Speech: What I Ate For Breakfast and Other Mysteries of Judicial Decision Making (arguing for textualism) (Summer 1993)
TNR Article: Sanhedrin II (releasing Ivan the Terrible) (13 September 1993)
Law Speech: Trademarks Unplugged (October 1993)
Law Article: Lawsuit, Shmawsuit (use of Yiddish in law) (with Eugene Volokh) (November 1993)
Law Speech: Mickey & Me (Spring 1994)
WSJ Opinion: The Case of Punitive Damages v. Democracy (19 January 1995)
Book Review: The Return of George Sutherland (20 February 1995)
WSJ Opinion: The Mobile Guide: Skiers Beware Riders of the Apocalypse (recommending snowboarding) (15 March 1995)
Forbes Mag: Real nerds don't buy computers. They make them. (29 July 1996)
Law Article: In Praise of Moot Court - Not! (January 1997)
NYer Article: Tinkering With Death [to be scanned] (10 February 1997)
Law Speech: Teetering on the High Wire (reflections on experience in judging) (19 February 1997)
Law Debate: The Modern View of Capital Punishment [PDF scan] (7 April 1997)
Interview: Finding Justice in the Internet Dimension (Spring 1997)
Law Speech: Brave New World (thoughts on Daubert) (Summer 1997)
Law Article: Original Mean[der]ings (with Harry Susman) (July 1997)
Law Speech: The Wrong Stuff: How You Too Can...Lose Your Appeal (23 October 1997)
Law Speech: Should Reading Legislative History Be an Impeachable Offense? (19 February 1998)
Law Speech: The Many Faces of Judicial Independence (July 1998)
Interview: Clerkship Politics (mirror [PDF]) (with Fred Bernstein) (Fall 1998)
Law Article: How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Press [PDF scan] (media diversity) (Spring 1998)
Law Review: Conduct Unbecoming (problems with Closed Chambers) (January 1999)
Law Speech: The Toyota Principle (arguing for plaintiff idiocy as a defense to torts) (Summer 1999)
Law Article: Keeping Secrets: Religious Duty vs. Professional Obligation (with Leslie Hakala) (Summer 1999)
Law Speech: Carthage Must Be Destroyed (arguing Koon should be overruled so sentencing guidelines are followed) (September 1999)
Law Speech: What's So Fair About Fair Use? [PDF] (with Christopher Newman) (11 November 1999)
NYT Review: Pull Down the Blinds: In Defense of Privacy (2 July 2000)
Law Speech: Who Gives a Hoot About Legal Scholarship? (Summer 2000)
Interview: Expert Testimony for CPAs After Daubert (Fall 2000)
Law Speech: Law and Popular Culture (August 2001)
WSJ Opinion: Privacy on Trial (4 September 2001)
Law Speech: Pulling the Plug: My Stand Against Electronic Invasions of Workplace Privacy (4 October 2002)
Book Review: Fooled by Randomness (1 April 2002)
Testimony: Unpublished Dispositions Testimony (27 June 2002)
Law Review: Gore Wars (summarizing The Skeptical Environmentalist) (August 2002)
Law Speech: Judging Judges' Ethics (15 September 2003)
Interview: Defending the First in the Ninth (mirror) [PDF] (4 August 2003)
Law Speech: Chief Judge of Claims Court (3 October 2003)


Judge Kozinski has written numerous opinions during his career. Here we feature some of the more well-known, with notable articles about them.

Opinion: US v. Syufy (9 May 1990) "It is a tribute to the state of competition in America that the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice has found no worthier target than this paper tiger on which to expend limited taxpayer resources."

WSJ: Frantic Antitrust Ideas Are Gone With the Wind

Dissent: White v. Samsung Electronics (18 March 1993) "It's now a tort for advertisers to remind the public of a celebrity. [...] It's bad law."

Dissent: Wendt v. Host (28 December 1999) "Robots again. [...] As I predicted, White's voracious logic swallows up rights conferred by Congress under the Copyright Act."

Opinion: Mattel v. MCA Records (24 July 2003) "If this were a sci-fi melodrama, it might be called SpeechZilla meets Trademark Kong."

Dissent: Silveira v. Lockyer (6 May 2003) "It is wrong to use some constitutional provisions as springboards for major social change while treating others like senile relatives to be cooped up in a nursing home until they quit annoying us." (re the right to bear arms)

Opinion: Kremen v. Network Solutions (25 July 2003) "'Sex on the Internet?,' they all said. 'That'll never make any money.' But computer-geek-turned-entrepreneur Gary Kremen knew an opportunity when he saw it." (holding domain names are property)

Dissent: US v. Ramirez-Lopez (10 January 2003) "One can only imagine the conversation between Ramirez-Lopez and his lawyer after this opinion is filed: [...] 'Isn't the jury supposed to have all the facts?'" (arguing the government should not able to deport useful witnesses) (After this blistering dissent, the government dropped charges.)

The Federal Lawyer: The Greatest Dissent? [PDF]
LA Times: Appeal Lost, Yet Freedom Won


As a Ninth Circuit Judge, Kozinski gets three clerks each term to assist him with research and opinion-writing.

Eugene Volokh, UCLA Law Prof
Stuart Banner, UCLA Law Prof
Harry Susman, Partner
Fred Bernstein
Daniel Rodriguez, USD Dean
Thomas Krause, Georgetown Law Asjunct Prof
Nhan Vu, Chapman Law Prof
Mark Holmes, Tax Court Judge
90-91: Jacqueline Cooper, Partner
91-92: Mark Perry, Partner
91-92: Brett M. Kavanaugh, Partner, Counsel to the President
93-94: Mary Ann Todd, Partner
95-96: Anthony Vlatas, Appellate Consultant
97-98: Victor Fleischer, UCLA Law Acting Prof
Christopher Newman, Associate
Igor Timofeyev
Robert Kry

site organized and webized by Aaron Swartz (

"But, as they say in the software business, employer monitoring of employee conduct is not a bug, it's a feature." -- Judge Kozinski, Pull Down the Blinds (links added)