Judge Alex Kozinski announced Monday he is stepping down from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, effective immediately, after 15 women, including several female former staffers, accused him of sexual misconduct. "I cannot be an effective judge and simultaneously fight this battle," Kozinski, 67, said in a statement. "Nor would such a battle be good for my beloved federal judiciary."
Former female clerks said Kozinksi touched them inappropriately and made them watch pornography at work. He apologized in his statement, saying he may "not have been mindful enough of the special challenges and pressures that women face in the workplace." Kozinksi has served on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals since 1985 and was its chief judge from 2007 through 2014.