Two California Judges Sanctioned For Sex In Chambers

140902-Judge-Cory-Woodwardscott-steinerIt is a rather bizarre week for the California bench after two judges were separately sanctions for sex in their chambers. Orange County Superior Court Judge Scott Steiner (right) was censured for such multiple trysts with women. Kern County Superior Court Judge Cory Woodward (left) magnified the sanctionable conduct by not just having multiple trysts with his court clerk from July of 2012 until May of last year but engaging in such conduct in both his chambers and in public places. Both were censured but allowed to continue on the bench. Both are former prosecutors.

The state Commission on Judicial Performance called Steiner’s actions “the height of irresponsible and improper” behavior that “reflects an utter disrespect for the dignity and decorum of the court, and is seriously at odds with a judge’s duty to avoid conduct that tarnishes the esteem of the judicial office in the public’s eye.”

In censuring Woodward, the Commission noted that he also lied about the relationship when confronted by his presiding judges in a bid to block her transfer.

The censuring however does not mandate removal from the bench.

Woodward was appointed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in December 2006 and was re-elected in 2008. His current term expires in January 2015 and then the voters will decide his fate if he runs again. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his J.D. degree from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law. Before joining the bench, we served as a prosecutor with the Kern County District Attorney’s Office.

As for Steiner, he became as a Deputy District Attorney in the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and prosecuted hate crimes and later gangs. He also has taught as an adjunct professor of California Evidence at Chapman Law School. In 2010, Steiner won election to the Orange County Superior Court of California without opposition. Steiner began a six-year term on January 3, 2011, so he has a longer time to sit on the bench. It will remain to be seen if time heals all wounds with voters. He graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 1996 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and received his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

44 thoughts on “Two California Judges Sanctioned For Sex In Chambers”

  1. They should have gotten rape licenses.
    Federal Judge Envisions ‘Rape License’ for ‘Right to Rape’

    “It would seem that Posner’s contempt for tradition extends to all things sexual, up to and including the puritanical presupposition that it’s always wrong for a man to rape a woman. This idea, according to Posner in his 2011 book “Economic Analysis of the Law” (8th edition), is evidently an equally archaic tradition that, like the institution of natural marriage, needs a significant overhaul.

    “Posner’s suggestion? Perhaps it’s time the government begin issuing “rape licenses” (I kid you not) since, and based upon an exclusively utilitarian and morally relative cost-benefit analysis, the “right to rape,” for some men at least, “exceeds the victim’s physical and emotional pain.” ”


  2. Guess they are of the Roosevelt clan,…. Rough riders… Ones doing the circuit….

  3. Following Bill Clinton’s fellatio filled fandango in the Oval Office I think that any consensual sexual act short of one with a trampoline and a goat is acceptable.

  4. David, As you know, but many do not, there is no right to privacy in the Constitution. The 4th Amendment certainly protects our property. The First Amendment protects the privacy of the press, but there is no stated right to privacy.

    1. bettykath wrote: “Not surprised that you’re quoting Lev.”

      It is notable how you comment about my quoting the Torah but not about my quoting the Hadith.

  5. Who we boink is a matter of privacy. There are various provisions of the Constitution which protect and create a right of privacy. There is the First Amendment “don’t ask, don’t tell” prong. There is the Ninth Amendment reservations of rights not prohibited on the Reservation, be you a native American or another sort of citizen Kane. There is the Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection, due process, and who flung fu provision.
    To say that some person gave up these rights when they walk in the courthouse door and put on a robe or took a robe off is a miscegenation of the Constitution. The only provision relevant here is “Judge Not, least you be judged”. Now, if the other party to the porking says that the Judge was a good lay, then I say Frito Lay. If the other party to the porking says that the Judge was a bad lay, then I say, dock his pay. And what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. So if Judge Judy starts some bi sexual tryst with some female court reporter and it is not displayed on TV then it is none of our business. Nuff said.

    1. BarkingDog wrote: “Who we boink is a matter of privacy.”

      Really? You read that in the Constitution? I haven’t read that.

      What we have here is a huge problem caused by the decriminalization of adultery and homosexuality. Whereas once marriage created clear legal obligations and duties, now there is no longer proper recognition of law regarding the marriage bed. Now the Judge can commit adultery with his courtroom reporter, destroy her marriage, and I suppose also make proper judgments over her divorce proceedings. Furthermore, because of a President skated successfully through a sexual tryst in the oval office, our culture no longer had standards of professionalism. It is amazing that nobody sees a problem with Judges having sex with whomever he wants to in the courtroom. Law professors having sex with his students? No problem. That’s his Constitutional right. A Judge having sex with attorneys and married courtroom reporters, no problem with that either? It means nothing. Judges can be whoremongers and whores. Equal rights for all. No problem. Having sex with various people in the courtroom does not affect his ability to judge impartially. I’m shaking my head over all this. What has our culture become? Hedonism rules the hearts and minds of lawyers and judges, and very few see any problem with this? I see the destruction and corruption of our judicial system over this.

  6. One of the judges was secretly boinking a married woman who worked in the same court building. Another was secretly boinking a former student whom he recommended for a government job. I can’t see just a reprimand for these boinks. If you are not going to can them, at least make them post the reprimand on the doors of their courtrooms, in font size 28, for a year. But I would have canned them had I been on the commission.

    if you are writing a letter of recommendation for someone who is not your spouse or publicly known partner, you need to disclose the boinking in your letter of recommendation. Better yet, don’t write the letter. The boinking involving someone working in the same court building caused some difficulties among non-boinked personnel. Not to mention the boinkee’s husband, who suspected something was going on.

    To me, the impropriety is not judicial boinking per se, Prohibiting judges from boinking is an 8th Amendment violation, cruel and unusual punishment. But the circumstances surrounding these judicial boinkings show a lack of judgment. So they should be boinked off the bench.

    Plus, think about how hard it will be for the lawyers appearing in their courtrooms. They will be trying to argue their cases, but will be thinking about the judicial boinking.

  7. Paul, “the height of irresponsible and improper” behavior that “reflects an utter disrespect for the dignity and decorum of the court…”, and yet not removed from the bench? So what does it take to be removed?

    David, ” In past cultures, adultery was a capital offense,…”

    I believe it was, and is in some countries, but only for the women.

    1. bettykath wrote: “adultery was a capital offense… but only for the women.”

      I think maybe you have been reading too many feminist websites. Which cultures do you have in mind that make adultery a capital offense only for the women?

      In the Judeo-Christian culture, it was a capital offense for both men and women.

      “If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” (Lev 20:10)

      In Islam, the adulterer often is put to death, especially if he is a Jew because that is what the Torah (Jewish Law) mandates:

      According to the Hanbali jurist Ibn Qudamah, “Muslim jurists are unanimous on the fact that stoning to death is a specified punishment for the married adulterer and adulteress. The punishment is recorded in number of traditions and the practice of Muhammad stands as an authentic source supporting it. This is the view held by all Companions, Successors and other Muslim scholars with the exception of Kharijites.”

      “So the Prophet ordered the two adulterers to be stoned to death, and they were stoned to death near the place where biers used to be placed near the Mosque. I saw her companion (i.e. the adulterer) bowing over her so as to protect her from the stones.”

      “Allah’s Apostle ordered that she be stoned to death.The stoning was done to the woman because she was a jew and according to torah punishment is stoning.The son got 100 lashes because its the punishment for zina in quran.”

  8. Abuse of power.

    Abuse of the public trust.

    Thou shalt not kill.

    Thou shalt not steal.

    Thou shalt not bear false witness.


    Are you kidding me???

    P.S. What exactly did Nixon do?

    P.P.S In the Middle East, reporters are beheaded for reporting. Do I have this correct, the government is the subject of citizens who are the sovereigns?

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