Breaking: Ninth Circuit spills tea on Judge Kindred resignation, saying he sexualized work relationships

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It all came down to sex and texts. Lots of texts. The Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit has revealed the cause of U.S. District Judge Joshua Kindred’s sudden resignation in great and salacious detail. In the end, it was a forced resignation, the record shows. And it was so much more.

The complaint against Kindred was made two years ago. On May 23, the very detailed order and certification was made regarding the complaint of judicial misconduct against Kindred, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump to serve as one of three judges for the District of Alaska. The order and certification was made public on Monday, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 360(b) and in consultation with the Judicial Conference of the United States.

“The Order and Certification is the result of a thorough investigation conducted by a Special Committee appointed by Chief Circuit Judge Mary H. Murguia. In its Order and Certification, the Judicial Council concluded, among other things, that Judge Kindred engaged in misconduct by creating a hostile work environment for his law clerks and by having an inappropriately sexualized relationship with one of his law clerks both during her clerkship and after she became an Assistant United States Attorney. The former law clerk did not appear on any case before Judge Kindred while she was employed as an Assistant United States Attorney,” the court wrote.

In other words, Kindred had sexual relations with a law clerk who then became an Assistant U.S. Attorney. Such a person would appear before Kindred in court proceedings, creating a conflict of interest.

The order says:

“This judicial misconduct order arises from a complaint against Judge Joshua M. Kindred, District Judge of the United States District Court of Alaska. The Judicial Council adopts the findings of the Special Committee, which include a 105-page report along with 1,039 pages of exhibits. The Council concludes that:

  1. “(1)  Judge Kindred created a hostile work environment for his law clerks by engaging in unwanted, offensive, and abusive conduct, and treating the law clerks in a demonstrably egregious and hostile manner.
  2. “(2)  Judge Kindred engaged in misconduct by having an inappropriately sexualized relationship with one of his law clerks during her clerkship and shortly after her clerkship while she practiced as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Alaska.
  3. “(3)  Judge Kindred did not retaliate against individuals for reporting his behavior or participating in the misconduct process.
  4. “(4)  Throughout these proceedings, Judge Kindred lied to the Chief Judge, the Special Committee, and the Council. Although the evidence indicated that he had a sexual encounter with his former law clerk, Judge Kindred maintained that he “never had any sexual contact with [the law clerk].” Only when asked under oath during the Judicial Council meeting of April 5, 2024, did he admit that he had deliberately lied to the Special Committee.
  5. “In view of these findings and pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 354(b)(2)(A), the Council certifies to the Judicial Conference of the United States that United States District Judge Joshua M. Kindred has engaged in conduct that might constitute one or more grounds for impeachment under Article II of the Constitution. It further orders that Judge Kindred be publicly reprimanded for the conduct described in this order that violates the Rules of the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act and the Code of Conduct for the United States Judges and is prejudicial to the effective and expeditious administration of the business of the courts and the administration of justice. It further requests that Judge Kindred resign voluntarily from the position of United States District Court Judge for the District of Alaska.

“In November 2022, Chief Judge Mary H. Murguia received information about possible misconduct by the Honorable Joshua M. Kindred, District Judge of the United States District Court of Alaska. Responding to this information, Chief Judge Murguia directed a limited inquiry under Rule 5 of the Rules for Judicial- Conduct and Judicial-Disability (“JC&D”) Proceedings.

“Upon determining that there was probable cause to believe that misconduct had occurred, on December 27, 2022, Chief Judge Murguia identified a misconduct complaint against Judge Kindred pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 351(b) and JC&D Rule 5(a).1 The complaint stated that probable cause existed that Judge Kindred: (1) created a hostile work environment for one or more judicial employees by subjecting them to regular discussions about his personal life, including conversations of a sexual nature, and ostracized a judicial employee who raised concerns about this behavior; (2) engaged in unwanted physical sexual conduct with a former judicial employee and engaged in unwanted verbal sexual conduct with that employee both during and after her clerkship; and (3) told individuals with knowledge of his potential misconduct to remain silent. Judge Kindred was provided with an opportunity to respond to the complaint pursuant to JC&D Rule 11(f).2”

In his response, Judge Kindred offered his “unequivocal denials to these allegations,” the order explained, stating that he was “in possession of communications that [he] believe[s] clearly establish that these allegations are entirely without merit.”

Based on Judge Kindred’s response and the information gathered during the limited inquiry, Chief Judge Murguia determined that there were reasonably disputed issues that needed to be investigated by a Special Committee.

“The Committee’s investigation included a review of documents obtained from various witnesses and Judge Kindred, including text messages exchanged between Judge Kindred and his law clerks. These communications included more than 700 pages of text messages,” the order said.

“The Committee also interviewed witnesses, including Judge Kindred, current and former court staff, as well as several attorneys and individuals with knowledge relevant to the Committee’s investigation. In all, 21 individuals were interviewed in person or by video. All interviews included at least two interviewers. Of the 21 individuals interviewed, 13 were current or former judiciary employees, including nearly all of Judge Kindred’s current (at the time) and former law clerks.

“The Committee’s investigation revealed that Judge Kindred created a hostile chambers environment for his law clerks. Judge Kindred appeared to have no filter as to the topics he would discuss with the clerks. He discussed his past dating life, his romantic preferences, his sex life, the law clerks’ boyfriends and dating lives, his divorce, his interest in and communications with potential romantic or sexual partners, and his disparaging opinions of his colleagues. He also made disparaging comments about public and political figures.’

Some examples of the comments Kindred made include: “I was a huge hit at dinner Partly due to how much shit I talked about Sarah palin”; “I told a republican [state] senator to eat a dick”; and “[a senator] is worried that I can kick [] his ass.”

Kindred also routinely used language that was inappropriate in a professional setting, such as encouraging rating people based on “fuckability,” stating that he was not “hoe-ignorant,” or telling stories about “giving blow jobs in a hot tub.”

In the few instances where clerks came to Judge Kindred to discuss his inappropriate behavior, they were belittled or ostracized, and, in one instance, a clerk left the clerkship, the order continued.

“Though many of these comments occurred in chambers, Judge Kindred also sent his law clerks numerous text messages over an extended period. These text messages document the nature of Judge Kindred’s inappropriate interactions with his law clerks as these comments lacked any connection to the clerks’ legitimate job duties and were often sexual in nature. For instance, Judge Kindred made inappropriate and often vulgar comments to his law clerks such as “I’m just gonna pay for [a law clerk’s boyfriend’s] next ass tattoo”; “You’re going to the big leagues. You might be better in the butt leagues”; “I’ve never been invited to an orgy by a stranger before”; “I got asked out by a waitress which actually made me feel way less insecure about being single again, which was nice”; and “So it looks like I might need a judicial tinder profile.””

Sen. Dan Sullivan posted a comment expressing his disappointment, saying he was extremely disappointed.

“I will continue to work with the Alaska Federal Judicial Council for appointment of federal judges who understand Alaska’s unique role in our federal system. This is crucially important for our state. Federal judges have lifetime tenure – their decisions will positively or negatively impact Alaskans for decades. I remain focused on working with relevant stakeholders to appoint Alaska federal judges who interpret the law as Congress intended, not as special interest groups and unelected federal bureaucrats want it to be,” Sullivan said.

Read the entire investigation report here:

“In the Order and Certification, the Judicial Council publicly reprimanded and admonished Judge Kindred for his conduct, which violated the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act and the Code of Conduct for United States Judges. The Judicial Council also requested that Judge Kindred voluntarily resign and certified the matter to the Judicial Conference of the United States to consider impeachment,” the court wrote.

Judge Kindred resigned, effective Monday, July 8. The Judicial Conference of the United States will continue to consider the matter, including the certification with respect to impeachment, Murguia wrote, along with this statement:

“The Judiciary is entrusted to self-govern and, in doing so, must hold its federal judges to the highest standards of integrity and impartiality. We take judicial misconduct complaints seriously. When allegations arise, the Judiciary conducts a fair and thorough investigation that focuses on promoting a civil and respectful workplace, free of discrimination and harassment, and maintaining the integrity of the Judiciary. The process seeks to preserve the effective and expeditious administration of the business of the courts. In all respects, this was a serious and sensitive matter. I thank the witnesses who provided information, understanding fully how difficult that may have been. In my role as Chief, I will continue to ensure that our judges are held to the highest standards.”

54 COMMENTS

  1. sounds good for SCOTUS job. ken Starr spend $80 million getting at Clinton kneeling job, seems quicker and easier this way. lets move on for Donnie in November

    • It doesn’t really have anything to do with who appointed the judge or partisanship. It has to do with power and all that that implies.

      In 2018 CNN compiled and reviewed nearly 5,000 judicial orders related to misconduct complaints over the past 10 years. The documents covered an array of misbehavior including and beyond sexual misconduct.

      “The relationships between law clerks and their judges are mostly built on worshipful silence,” Dahlia Lithwick, a former 9th Circuit law clerk, wrote in Slate. “There is no other work relationship left in America that is comparable. Which is, as it happens, part of the problem.”

  2. Would wager a bundle that dis-Honorable Joshua M. Kindred, former District Judge of the United States District Court of Alaska is a hard-core democrat who believed up until June 8, 2024, his stuff and actions did not stink, and he was not accountable for his actions. Lying works well for awhile just like Joker Joe B. Opps….
    Good for the folks who pursued this culprit and nailed him to the cross.
    Now how about the other judges who heard Josh use the language he used, performed the actions he did with the folks in his immediate office. Some or all these events were hidden for anyone else to see?? Lots of folks kept their mouths shut and they need a as-wipin’ to get them in line

  3. It’s just singe guy talk. Trannies and lesbians talk that way. Locker rooms and truck stops generate that talk Lawyers in hotel lounges do that. But slamming Sarah Palin with vulgarities? You went too far, Judge Joshua. You just pissed off hundreds of Palin folks. But you still got friends out there. I bet Todd will hang with you.
    .
    As for sexualizing the work place……..you should have realized that female lawyers, especially the recent grad, woke puppies, are anxiously salivating to bust a powerful White dude. You stepped into it. You had a little fun on the side, but it’s hardly worth leaving a life-time job.

    • If the man wasn’t smart enough to neither do nor think this stuff, he has no business on any bench.

      There. Fixed it for you.

  4. Looks like Kindred tried to do the same thing to clerks and a prosecutor that he did to more than 130 hard working Alaska families in his handling of the Garrett Elder / Tycoon Trading debacle. He allowed the case to be negotiated down to a single count of wire fraud and then shrank that from a possible @ 20 years to little more than the six that inept prosecution proposed. Where Elder should have been on the hook for well over 100 years he instead rec’d little more than a spanking by a judge that admitted to not having any experience with financial matters and has now proven himself to have horrifically clouded judgement. If there were ever a reason that that case should be reviewed and re-sentenced it would be underscored by the findings of his peers.

    A liar (the court system’s description, not mine) too clouded to understand that fishing off the company pier comes at a cost far greater than its worth and who’s solution to in-house matters is to admonish underlings with such colloquial wisdom as “shut the f*ck up and keep your head down” or more bizarre yet that others should somehow look forward to him showing up at a future social event w/ booze, heroin and whatever other nonsense fell from his pie hole is proof. An ethically compromised snake with a raging woody and a hangover is never the right guy to assume responsibility for fairness when 130 hard working families have been robbed of $30mm by a crook w/ similar boundary issues.

    Judge Murguia, you must review and at minimum triple sentencing in this case. Each of us in the victim pool were robbed three times:

    – once by Mr. Elder of our money

    – once by Alaska’s Federal prosecutor’s office via negotiated sentencing guaranteed to result in a case that would never go to trial and was a sure bet to pad a future resume’ (US Attorney S. Lane Tucker and Assistant US Attorney’s Michael Heyman and Seth Beausang’s best effort at a negotiated agreement was to give the case away by proposing a 6 year sentence… what idiot wouldn’t accept 61 months in Club Fed for having stolen $30mm? Should crime really pay six million dollars a year?), and

    – once by Mr. Kindred who stole justice and the collective dignity of many Alaskan families.

    The outcome of this case should be laughable but it’s not. For those living in the wake of Elder and Kindred’s theft it’s anything but. Federal prosecutors too lenient in their sentencing should be held accountable and that applies more so to Federal judges.

    Alaska’s own Soapy Smith would have been proud of Garrett Elder and of Kindred as well. Maybe even slip the ethically compromised Kindred an occasional thank you stash. Booze, heroin, an occasional call girl as it appears Mr. Kindred would have trouble getting laid in a women’s prison. No doubt the women he hoped to (compromise? woo? council? pork?) had a suspicion they were in the company of a snake. We’re all better off that she came forward. Your responsibility now Judge Murguia, is to go back through his cases and correct the errors in Kindred’s wake. The Garrett Elder case should be your starting point.

  5. I’d like to see the return emails and texts by the female law clerks that he was communicating with. It could have easily been two-way flirting and dirty talking. Was one of the law clerks a spurned lover? Or was he shusting more than one clerk during the same time? There’s more to this story. Guaranteed.

  6. Another Leonard Leo success story. He should appeal and get Kavanaugh to over turn any judicial action.

    This Man is an outstanding example of what Trump brings to the table. Maybe Borat should interview Jusge Kaplan with his niece present.

    • Trump didn’t take showers with his daughter. Trump’s sons didn’t shack-up with his brother’s wife. None of Trump’s kids were dope addicts or on a luxury payroll for doing nothing. And Trump built hotels, high-rises, golf courses and casinos.
      What did Biden do? Spent 50 years as a lying, cheating politician. Biden couldn’t assemble a bird house with instructions written by a ten-year old. That’s the difference.

  7. His ex-wife was Lisa Murkowski assistant in DC and later an environmental lawyer. She tried to grab an Alaska state Senate seat when her pappy, Chris Birch, died while in office. That didn’t work out for her. I’m not saying Judge Kindred’s dalliances should be excused, but a spouse with those credentials would be difficult to live with. And then there’s the issue that all the women in Judge Kindred’s mixed-up life happen to be lawyers. This is a deadly witch’s brew for a man. All of these women being in the same profession and all living in Anchorage……..it’s only a matter of time before the sh*t hits the fan for Judge Kindred. And hit the fan it did. His ex-wife is the one who probably ratted him out. She’s still lurking in the background and steaming mad.
    The spouse will get even on multiple levels. Judge Kindred should fear her more than disbarment or future civil harassment suits.
    And don’t forget, the spouse used to work for the royal, Lisa Murkowski. Enough said.

    • It always seems to get down to Lisa Murkowski and her disassembling of the facts and the truth.
      Alaskans shouldn’t trust Lisa Murkowski anymore than they trust a two-timed lover.

  8. Probably could have been avoided if he’d refrained from hiring female law clerks. Holds true for any licensed profession.

    I’ve been been asked to tutor younger females. Always turned them down. There was no hand-holding when I was a 20-something – you were dropped off at a construction site, performed or got replaced.

    Why risk a career tutoring junior female engineers, when #MeToo has created massive incentives to lie for attention?

      • Looks like you missed the point.

        Behind closed doors, you could ‘keep your hands to yourself’ and an attention-seeking woman could still decide to make up a #MeToo story and your reputation and license go bye-bye.

        Why should a professional take the risk? Just refuse to work in 1-on-1 situations with female colleagues. Simple as.

        And the point stands – had the judge not hired female clerks, he could be a boor and still have his job today.

  9. Alaska needs judicial reform.

    Without judicial reform in Alaska many Alaskans will continue to suffer protection of our constitutional rights and laws. Many Alaskans will continue to endure huge attorney fees and/or public defenders that are not competent to handle a case, etc.

    Alaskans need judges that are going to protect our constitutional rights and follow the laws. Due process is a constitutional right for every Alaskan.

    Contact your Alaska Senators, Representatives, Congresswoman Peltola and our U.S. Senators.

    Alaska needs judicial reform and our constitutional rights protected.

  10. Just another Trump appointee, just like the boss deny any allegations. I’m surprised the judge didn’t claim that Biden was going after him using lawfare to remove opponents. 😉

  11. Alaska deserves much better than US Senator Dan Sullivan. He enjoys being in the spotlight and traveling around like a rock star, but has repeatedly shown very poor judgement. He got Judge Kindred a lifetime appointment to a position for which he was extremely poorly suited. And let’s not forget that Sullivan boasts about getting Thomas Steinbrenner the job of “leading” the disastrous Anchorage VA Clinic where women veterans are particularly poorly served and usually diminished.

    • The initial post appears to have been in “limbo” for a while and posted after I inquired about an hour later. Thank you.

  12. Joshua Kindred’s primary fault, and the reason for his demise, is that he trusted woke, radical female lawyers. That will never work out well for a real man.

  13. I love it when I can actually read the court documents. Caught this:

    “Judge Kindred received nude photographs from another, more senior AUSA who practiced before him, and then Judge Kindred discussed those photographs with his law clerk. He received sexually suggestive text messages from a local attorney who regularly appeared before him, which he also discussed with his law clerks.”

    Who are these attorneys? Their behavior is not appropriate, either. Were cases compromised because of this?

  14. What cases were on his docket?something the democrats wanted a different judge for?? Its easy to find someone to make accusations!

  15. Kudos to the Judicial Council- they did a lot of good work in this case. But More needs to be done. How can we trust the US Attorney here? How has he cleaned house? There are people in that office that need to be fired.

  16. From NBC news – Kindred submitted his resignation letter to President Joe Biden last week, saying he would step down Monday.The court order cited an incident in October 2022 in which Kindred is alleged to have kissed a former law clerk and grabbed her rear after he asked her to get drinks with him shortly after she left her clerkship and began work at the U.S. attorney’s office.

    The order cites a second incident in which Kindred was accused of “putting his hands on me” and performing oral sex on the law clerk after having urged her to join him at an associate’s apartment.
    This sure seems to be a witchhunt to me. Who among us haven’t had encounters like this with employees. Those Democrats will do anything to interfere with Trump’s decisions. When Trump wins in November he can declare an official order and reinstate Judge Kindred. Kindred’s strong moral framework is what attracted Trump to him in the first place!

    • Always a witch hunt with your type.Trump and his Ilk are just immoral liars. That’s actually the facts. And if you don’t think that you’re just like them.

      • RINO, so true about Trump. And his behavior is only further tarnished when held in juxtaposition to that Saintly old Man Joe Biden!

  17. I seriously doubt Kindred really even wanted be a federal judge. He and his spouse, Tali, had both changed their lawyer employment regularly. Making easy money and living the life of luxury as a two attorney household. A federal judgeship requires a lot of focus and work, with a couple hundred active cases at any given time. They both liked the prestige and privilege of the federal judgeship. But Kindred had a roving eye for cute, younger law clerks and he took advantage of that. It was only a matter of time before he got caught up and his case load suffered. Then his wife found out. Now Kindred, and his ex-wife, will have to live their lives in total embarrassment. Privilege doesn’t always work out, especially for people who exploit it.

  18. Deception and corruption have become prevalent issues in the state of Alaska, particularly within our judicial system. It is disheartening to see selective crime and influential families exerting control over our state, often at the expense of the most vulnerable members of society such as women and children. The presence of corrupt judges only serves to perpetuate a cycle of abuse and exploitation.

    It is important to acknowledge that judicial corruption is a very real problem, with victims ranging from infants to elderly adults. The courtrooms have essentially become crime scenes where our rights are being violated. By following the money trail, it becomes evident that many judges, attorneys, and politicians have engaged in illegal and unethical activities.

    It is crucial to address these issues to prevent further harm and restore integrity to our legal system. We must hold those in positions of power accountable for their actions, as they should be serving the public good rather than participating in corrupt practices. Let us work together to address these issues and promote transparency and fairness in our state.

  19. All this while tranvestic pedophiles are officially encouraged to groom children, brainwash children into life-destroying self-mutilation… without their parents’ knowledge?

  20. The State Judicial Council does not select Federal Court Judges. US Senators interview and nominate candidates. The President and staff vetts and presents candidates to the Senate for consideration, confirmation hearings and US Senate approval.
    Law Clerks are all lawyers, not grocery or convenience store personnel, carefully chosen. Any law clerk throwing away three years of law school and a select career does a disservice to their occupation. The Clerk is a stepping stone to judgeships and other employment in the legal system.
    Please feel free to clarify or expand.

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