Bad enough, because Kozinski holds a lifetime appointment to the federal bench, where his duties include hearing appeals involving sexual harassment and sexual assault. Bad enough, because a judge and law clerk enjoy a relationship that is at once uniquely intimate and inherently unequal.

But it would be wrong to understand Kozinski as just one among 179 federal appeals court judges. He is among the most influential and celebrated, an icon among conservatives and — perhaps another explanation for why the reports about his behavior took so long to surface — a reliable “feeder judge” for those seeking Supreme Court clerkships.