This isn't something you hear every day:

One of the highest-ranking federal judges in the United States, who is currently presiding over an obscenity trial in Los Angeles, has maintained a publicly accessible website featuring sexually explicit photos and videos.

Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, acknowledged in an interview with The Times that he had posted the materials, which included a photo of naked women on all fours painted to look like cows and a video of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal. Some of the material was inappropriate, he conceded, although he defended other sexually explicit content as "funny."

The question now is whether Kozinski will recuse himself from the pending obscenity case, in which a Los Angeles pornographer stands accused of "distributing criminally obscene sexual-fetish videos depicting bestiality and defecation." Kozinski's a very well regarded (if fairly conservative) judge, but this casts in a different light his crusade against Internet monitoring and filtering software on the computers of federal judicial employees.

--Josh Patashnik