LOS ANGELES - Judge Alex Kozinski, the 9th Circuit Appeals Court judge who's presiding over the Ira Isaacs obscenity case, has called for an investigation of himself over the sexually explicit images found on his website.

He is required to do so under rules recently adopted by the Judicial Council that say a chief judge must order an investigation when questions of misconduct arise against a judge.

Misconduct is defined in part as: "conduct occurring outside the performance of official duties if the conduct might have a prejudicial effect on the administration of the business of the courts, including a substantial and widespread lowering of public confidence in the courts among reasonable people."

The Isaacs obscenity trial was halted after the revelation that Kozinski, a conservative Republican appointed by President Reagan, had explicit photos and videos on his site, http://alex.kozinski.com, which has since been taken down.

As reported in the Threat Level blog on Wired.com, the story was broken by Beverly Hills lawyer Cyrus Sanai, who discovered the images last year. In Sanai's opinion, Kozinski is trying to head off misconduct complaints by requesting an investigation of himself.

"It's what he's required to do so it doesn't surprise me," he said.