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Chief judge initiates review of allegations against Alex Kozinski

Matt Zapotosky writes, "The chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on Thursday initiated a review of misconduct allegations against Judge Alex Kozinski — the powerful jurist who has come under fire in recent days after former clerks and other lower-level staffers accused him of subjecting them to a range of inappropriate sexual conduct or comments.

Chief Judge Sidney R. Thomas wrote in an order that even absent a formal complaint, he could initiate a review 'when there is information constituting reasonable grounds for inquiry into whether a covered judge has engaged in judicial misconduct.'

He wrote that he would treat allegations in a Washington Post article that detailed six women’s experiences with Kozinski — a former chief of the 9th Circuit who still works as a judge — as the basis for a complaint in the case. Thomas asked that the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court reassign the case to a different judicial council.

Meanwhile, at least one current clerk for Kozinski resigned, a 9th Circuit official confirmed Thursday. The reason was not immediately clear. Assistant Circuit Executive David J. Madden said in an email: 'I can confirm that one or more clerks has resigned. I am unable to comment further as I do not know whether the separation(s) may involve a confidential personnel matter.'

An administrative assistant for Kozinski said the judge was not available to comment."

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