Pornography

"Upcoming trial will see hours of hard-core fetish pornography"

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That's the surprisingly to-the-point headline on an L.A. Times story about the upcoming obscenity trial of shock-porn filmmaker Ira Isaacs, who sez of his own bestiality- and defecation-flecked art: "I think I'd freak out if I had to watch six hours of the stuff." There is, however, some encouraging news for the defense:

Presiding over the trial will be Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Kozinski was assigned the case as part of a rotation in which he and other appeals court judges occasionally oversee criminal trials in addition to deciding appeals.

His involvement in the case may be a stroke of luck for Isaacs. That is because Kozinski is seen as a staunch defender of free speech. When he learned that there were filters banning pornography and other materials from computers in the appeals court's Pasadena offices, he led a successful effort to have the filters removed.

"I did some rabble-rousing about it," Kozinski said in a brief interview last week. He said he was made aware of the issue when a law clerk researching a case was banned from accessing a gay bookstore's website.

"I didn't think the bureaucrats in Washington should decide what the federal judiciary should have access to," the judge said. "I thought that was incredibly arrogant for them to decide on their own."

More about the trial ? and the "Department of Justice task force formed in 2005 after Christian conservative groups appealed to the Bush administration to crack down on smut" ? here. Shikha Dalmia's shocking July 2006 interview with Kozinski here, and Greg Beato's May 2004 examination of "Washington's new crackdown on pornography can be found here. (Link via Patterico.)