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March 1, 2012

Should Congress investigate federal judge who forwarded racially charged email about President Obama?

The question in the title of this post is prompted by this local story out of Montana, which is headlined "Chief U.S. District Judge sends racially charged email about president." Here are the details:

Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull on Wednesday admitted to sending a racially charged email about President Barack Obama from his courthouse chambers.  Cebull, of Billings, was nominated by former President George W. Bush and received his commission in 2001 and has served as chief judge for the District of Montana since 2008.

The subject line of the email, which Cebull sent from his official courthouse email address on Feb. 20 at 3:42 p.m., reads: "A MOM'S MEMORY."  The forwarded text reads as follow:

"Normally I don't send or forward a lot of these, but even by my standards, it was a bit touching.  I want all of my friends to feel what I felt when I read this. Hope it touches your heart like it did mine.

"A little boy said to his mother; 'Mommy, how come I'm black and you're white?'" the email joke reads.  "His mother replied, 'Don't even go there Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you're lucky you don't bark!'"

Cebull admitted Wednesday to sending the email to seven recipients, including his personal email address.  The judge acknowledged that the content of the email was racist, but said he does not consider himself racist.  He said the email was intended to be a private communication. "It was not intended by me in any way to become public," Cebull said.  "I apologize to anybody who is offended by it, and I can obviously understand why people would be offended."

Cebull said his brother initially sent him the email, which he forwarded to six of his "old buddies" and acquaintances.  He admitted that he read the email and intended to send it to his friends.  "The only reason I can explain it to you is I am not a fan of our president, but this goes beyond not being a fan," Cebull said.  "I didn't send it as racist, although that's what it is.  I sent it out because it's anti-Obama."

Cebull said he does not consider himself prejudice against people of other races or ethnic backgrounds, and that his actions in his courtroom have demonstrated that. "I have never considered myself that way," Cebull said. "All I can emphasize is I've treated people in my courtroom all these years fairly.  I don't think I've ever demonstrated racism.  Nobody has ever even implied it."

Montana immigration attorney Shahid Haque-Hausrath was on the receiving end of a racially charged email sent by a top Immigrations and Customs Enforcement official last fall.  That official was suspended after sending Haque-Hausrath an email implying that Muslim Americans must prove their allegiance to the United States.  Haque-Hausrath, who is in an interracial marriage and recently fathered a child with his wife, said Cebull's e-mail was "deeply troubling."...

One of the recipients of the email Cebull sent forwarded it to another person, who in turn forwarded it to another person.  The email was eventually pass along to the Great Falls Tribune, who contacted Cebull.  Cebull said he was surprised the recipients of the e-mail passed it along with his name on it.

As regular readers know, a number of members of Congress and a few Justice Department officials, drawing from recent research by the US Sentencing Commission, have expressed recent concerns about a potential increase in racial disparities in sentencing now that the guidelines are advisory.  I generally think that any such disparity, if it truly exists and is not just correlated with other legitimate factors, is more likely to result from some judges perhaps being more inclined to give more below-guideline sentences to middle-class white offenders than to others.  But this story certainly should provide fodder for the notion that a few judges might be distinctly disinclined to be sympathetic to certain types of offenders and might reasonably prompt some folks in Congress to consider investigating Judge Cebull's sentencing record.

March 1, 2012 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

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Comments

I don't know if it's racist--but it's disgusting.

Posted by: federalist | Mar 1, 2012 10:59:16 AM

I'm not sure it's racist either, but it is disgusting. I think his non-apology is even worse. How hard is it to say, "I sent an un-funny disgusting e-mail. It was a mistake. I'm sorry. It won't happen again. We should remember that even though we have different opinions on political issues those of us who disagree are fundamentally good people who deserve respect and I foolishly forgot that."

Posted by: Robert Barnhart | Mar 1, 2012 11:07:40 AM

So, let me get this straight. From a taxpayer-funded, government computer and e-mail service, he sends a message that -- by his own admission -- was intended as an "anti-Obama" message and he's sorry because -- as he put it -- people found out about it.

He should resign (or be impeached) immediately due to his misuse of official government property for political purposes.

Given that this is a sentencing blog, I'm curious to know from attorneys who have practiced in front of him: how often was a defendant's sentence mitigated by him because the defendant said "I'm sorry I got caught"?

Posted by: right? | Mar 1, 2012 11:35:44 AM

What a disgrace to the judiciary. His presence on the bench demeans us al. He should resign immediately or be impeached forthwith.

Posted by: Dave from Texas | Mar 1, 2012 11:53:19 AM

If we analyze this "joke," we determine that it is not primarily racist. The viewpoint of the "joke" is that Barack Obama's mom is so loose or irresponsible that she would possibly have sex with a dog. Although likely MEANT as racist, it is, if fact, mostly misogynist. With an undercurrent that Barack's mom is also herself racist, viewing sex with a black man as only slightly better than sex with a dog.

Pretty dumb.

Posted by: USPO | Mar 1, 2012 12:25:18 PM

Not to get too much into the weeds of the offensive email, it is perceived by some (including myself) as racist because it implies that having sex with a black man and having sex with a dog are equal (since she obviously slept with a black man, she just as likely could have had sex with a dog "you are lucky..."). It is racist, and any minority defendant in Montana should obviously be filing an immediate appeal of his/her sentence.

Posted by: Kelly | Mar 1, 2012 12:41:50 PM

How many of you are white men who don't think this joke isn't racist? As an African-American woman, I find this VERY racist.

Posted by: Aaliya | Mar 1, 2012 12:43:43 PM

I'm amused to see, after all these years, that the use of government property on government time for misbehavior is grounds for removal by impeachment. Someone should have told that to Slick Willy when he was being serviced in the Oval Office by Monica.

That said, this kind of stuff is not in keeping with the behavior we have a right to expect from a federal judge, as I would hope Judge Cebull will understand as he considers whether he should continue in his present position.

P.S. I am delighted, however, that Doug Berman thinks it's proper for Congress to investigate the sentencing practices of individual federal judges. I completely agree. An independent judiciary is not the same as a judiciary that can't be asked questions by the people's representatives, or one that is immune from scrutiny.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 1, 2012 12:54:22 PM

Bill, your analogy to the Clinton incident is nothing but a smoke screen. I don't think anyone would argue for impeachment because he used government property, but an IMPARTIAL Judge should not be biased, or against a particular group in which he may be asked to preside over. THAT is where the impeachment talk should be centered around.

Posted by: Kelly | Mar 1, 2012 1:11:45 PM

Should this judge be allowed/trusted to rule on Batson issues?

Posted by: Calif. Capital Defense Counsel | Mar 1, 2012 1:11:55 PM

Unsurprisingly, Bill Otis has a Ken Starr-like problem with Clinton's philandering; however, he has no problem with Bush lying the country into war; and, truth be told, he has no problem with Bush appointees like this guy serving on the federal bench.

Posted by: Calif. Capital Defense Counsel | Mar 1, 2012 1:16:21 PM

Before we say "its not racist" perhaps we should consider the opinion of a non-racist like Judge Cebull. He said it is racist, but he who sent it is not racist. Of course Dahmer said he ate people, but he wasn't a cannibal.

Posted by: Matt | Mar 1, 2012 1:19:54 PM

I think he should consider resigning. I don't think he should be impeached absent evidence of racial bias in decision-making.

Aaliya, I am a white man so perhaps I have a blind spot here. I see Kelly's point about the interpretation of the joke. I took the joke more as offensive towards the sexual mores of the President's mother. The joke gets a 10/10 on the disgusting scale regardless.

Posted by: Robert Barnhart | Mar 1, 2012 1:21:56 PM

It's both racist and sexist, says this white woman. And really, really stupid.

Posted by: lawyer | Mar 1, 2012 1:24:55 PM

Tell you what--if this is racist, then what is Barack Obama's characterization on the six-on-one Jena Six assault as a "schoolyard fight?"

Posted by: federalist | Mar 1, 2012 1:45:42 PM

Look - Bill & Federalist:

The racism is obvious. The judge admitted it.

The fact that you two are die-hard, mainstream Republicans does not change that fact.

The fact that this judge is a Bush appointee does not mean that it is on point for you, in this thread, to lash out at Clinton and Obama. It is well understood that you two are on team GOP. It is well understood that this judge is part of your team.

It is also perfectly clear that you two would like this judge to remain on the bench, and you two would have no problem with him ruling on Batson claims.

Posted by: Calif. Capital Defense Counsel | Mar 1, 2012 2:07:31 PM

Because there is plenty to dicuss/debate here without starting the hack attacks on Clinton or Bush or Obama, I hope everyone will try to stay on topic to discuss this federal judge and how system ought to respond to what he had admitted done. To clarify my first-cut views:

1. The fact that he forwarded this joke, and did so apparently via an e-mail account that has uscourts.gov as a suffix is quite disconcerting behavior for a federal judge.

2. Especially at a time when Congress is expressing concern about racial disparities in sentencing, doing some examining this particular judges' sentencing record (along with other parts of his judicial record) seems like a reasonable initial response to this quite disconcerting behavior for a federal judge.

3. Unless and until there is a reasonable basis for fearing that this one act of quite disconcerting behavior for a federal judge is representative of a lack of impartiality or a sign of poor judicial temperment and judgment in official business, I think calls for this judge to resign or be impeached are premature.

4. Similarly, unless and until there is a reasonable basis for fearing that this one act of quite disconcerting behavior for a federal judge is representative of a lack of impartiality or a sign of poor judicial temperment and judgment in official business, I think efforts to re-open now-final cases are premature.

Posted by: Doug B. | Mar 1, 2012 2:08:17 PM

I'm not sure what your point is, federalist. Is it that you think Obama is a racist, and that racism is O.K. as long as it's directed at another racist?

Posted by: lawyer | Mar 1, 2012 2:09:04 PM

"The racism is obvious." Since it's Obama's mother, a white woman, being insulted for committing bestiality--I fail to see how this is necessarily racist.

In any event, explain how the "schoolyard fight" characterization isn't racist. Or "rural America" or his recitation of "white man's greed runs a world in need." If you want to pillory a judge for this, I am cool with that. But lets see some standards applied.

Posted by: federalist | Mar 1, 2012 2:13:31 PM

If you were an African-American litigant or attorney, and/or you were presenting a Batson claim or some other type of equal protection claim on behalf of an African-American litigant, and this judge was assigned to handle your case, wouldn't you be a little concerned about getting a fair shake?

Posted by: Calif. Capital Defense Counsel | Mar 1, 2012 2:15:26 PM

CCDC, actually, I'd want this guy--he'd probably bend over backwards to prove he's not. In all seriousness, what's your standard? Are we really going to elevate the forwarding of private emails to an impeachable offense? Are we going to presume that the guy can't be fair on Batson issues? Then how do you evaluate the "wise Latina" comment?

Posted by: federalist | Mar 1, 2012 2:23:05 PM

The joke is indisputably racist and mysoginist, and his subsequent contention that his action in sending the message did not reflect his own racism could not be more powerfully refuted than by his own closing line in the e-mail telling the "buddies" to whom he sent the hateful cluster-slur that he hoped it would touch their hearts as it did his own.

If this judge isn't somehow sanctioned,it will at best constitute additional,stark proof of both the persistence of racism in every strata of this Country, and the dreadful degree of denial about its presence by the populace and institutions.

-- another white male weighing in.

Posted by: dch | Mar 1, 2012 2:33:01 PM

Doug --

The fact that this is "one act" does not give much comfort. It's the one act THAT WAS CAUGHT. It betokens an attitude not consistent with the high standards we have a right to expect.

Whether it meets the Constitutional grounds for removal by impeachment is a different question. It is somewhat amusing, however, to see those who typically insist on years of due process for violent street criminals ready to hang this guy by sundown.

CCDC --

You're a reprobate liar, as usual. What I said, as opposed to your dishonest characterization of it, was, "this kind of stuff is not in keeping with the behavior we have a right to expect from a federal judge, as I would hope Judge Cebull will understand as he considers whether he should continue in his present position."

Would you please just go back to your usual gig of leading the charge for child killers?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 1, 2012 2:37:41 PM

Bill Otis,
The offensive part of this judge's conduct is not using government property on government time for personal use (e.g. Monica). Rather, it's the judge being in a non-political position yet using government property and government time to advocate (in a very crude way) a political and partisan point. He himself said he was forwarding the e-mail as an "anti-Obama" message.

Doug B.,
Similarly, your comment misses the mark somewhat. This judge did not just engage in "disconcerting behavior." He was using government time and property to advocate politics. That's serious.

When a federal judge uses government resources to disseminate an "anti-Obama" message and does so with the sole purpose of it being "anti-Obama," it warrants resignation and/or impeachment. The same would have been true had a D appointee disseminated anti-Bush or McCain material during their election seasons.

Posted by: right? | Mar 1, 2012 3:45:06 PM

Does anyone who is racist think that they are racist?

Posted by: Michael Glatthaar | Mar 1, 2012 3:59:18 PM

Doug. The point about Obama is that people seem to have a lot of double standards when it comes to this issue. I am dealing with the Cebull stuff as well, so I don't think that there's an issue.

Posted by: federalist | Mar 1, 2012 4:35:51 PM

"Professor" B.O.:

As noted by Kelly, your Clinton "analogy" is nothing but a smoke-screen. A judge on your team, viz., team GOP, got caught. Your natural reaction is to try and deflect and divert attention: "Hey, remember Clinton and Monica?" You're pathetic.

See if you can bring yourself to addressing the issue head-on. Should this judge, even though he is an appointee of your beloved George W. Bush, be entrusted to decide Batson claims involving African-American litigants?

Posted by: Calif. Capital Defense Counsel | Mar 1, 2012 4:36:49 PM

"See if you can bring yourself to addressing the issue head-on. Should this judge, even though he is an appointee of your beloved George W. Bush, be entrusted to decide Batson claims involving African-American litigants?"

Yes.

Posted by: federalist | Mar 1, 2012 7:57:46 PM

He has dishonored his oath of office.

Posted by: rick | Mar 1, 2012 8:41:41 PM

Bill Otis' discussion about the Clinton/Monica affair is about the most transparently partisan and absurd comment in a long list of dunderheaded posts he has made on this blog.

Posted by: Savannah S. | Mar 1, 2012 9:48:21 PM

Bill Otis--

Read your Constitution. Article III provides that federal judges "shall hold their Offices during good Behavior." Article II provides that "[t]he President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." Those are two very different standards.

Posted by: Michael J.Z. Mannheimer | Mar 1, 2012 10:37:05 PM

CCDC:

"If you were an African-American litigant or attorney, and/or you were presenting a Batson claim or some other type of equal protection claim on behalf of an African-American litigant, and this judge was assigned to handle your case, wouldn't you be a little concerned about getting a fair shake?"

I have represented numerous capital defendants at trial, on appeal and habeas. What I have learned is I don't care if the person be it a juror, prosecutor or judge is racist. I care so long as they are honest. Will they steal the client's money or life? Or will they man up and say I hate your guts, I wish you were dead cuase you're not like me but I am not going to cheat you. That the test I employ after some 25 years at the bar of dealing with this stuff. I'll take a honest racist any day over a thief/liar.

Posted by: ? | Mar 1, 2012 10:54:44 PM

Otis Bill and Federalist:

Why are the two of you so resistant to acknoweldging what the judge himself has acknowledged: He acted with impropriety. From an official government e-mail account, he transmitted a racist e-mail, in furtherance of his desire to express his political disapproval of Obama. Like the judge, I also dislike Obama. However, I am not willing to tolerate what the judge did, or excuse it, or seek to distract from it, simply because I dislike Obama. You two are behaving like knuckledraggers, kind of like the judge.

Posted by: Vince Wright | Mar 1, 2012 11:40:30 PM

Did I say the judge acted inappropriately? Nope. So at least get what I've said right before you call me a knuckledragger.

Look, I'd be more than happy to see this judge crucified IF, and it's a big IF, similar scrutiny were applied to other judges. Ninth Circuit judges have been caught being cute with the record (e.g., Wong v. Belmontes)--where's the outrage? And I bet all the people who are in a dither here think nothing of the racism inherent in the "wise Latina" comment. And I bet all the people in here who are calling for this judge's head were cool with the "rural America" stereotypes.

You can call me a knuckledragger all you like, but forgive me if I refuse to get too worked up over this. Personally, I think this was disgusting, and I am not prissy about stuff like this. But the manufactured outrage is pretty hard to take. He forwarded an email that bit him in the ass--it;s not like he deliberately screwed over a litigant (e.g., Manuel Real) or publicly commented that wise Latinas could do a better job judging than white males.

CCDC, if Cebull is unable to hear Batson challenges, how is Sotomayor able to judge cases? If the issue is truly racism, it's tough to defend Sotomayor's comments, as she specifically linked the ability to get to better results with race. And she is a Supreme Court Justice, not a District Court Judge.

Posted by: federalist | Mar 2, 2012 12:38:33 AM

Professor Mannheimer -- If only Bill Otis could 1) find his copy of the Constitution, and 2) comprehend it.

? -- I take your point, to an extent. However, in my experience, I haven't come across many honest racists. On a related point, I've argued an 8th Amendment claim before a 9th Circuit panel that included Jay Bybee. I don't have an opinion as to whether Bybee is honest or not, but in light of his role in authoring the torture memos, I was not comfortable with him ruling on my client's 8th Amendment claim, even though I am aware that he has authored an opinion finding a life sentence imposed pursuant to Calif.'s three strikes law cruel & unusual.

Federalist -- I don't know a whole lot about Sotomayor, other than that she used to be a prosecutor, and that she gave speeches in which she questioned whether 1) judges could ever achieve impartiality, and 2) the gender, ethnicity, and different life experiences of given judges could affect outcomes in cases. Her remarks are a far cry from the crude, plainly racist remarks at issue here.

Posted by: Calif. Capital Defense Atty. | Mar 2, 2012 1:26:52 AM

A little girl said to her father; "Daddy, how come I'm white and you're black?"

Her father replied, "Don't even go there princess! From what I can remember about that party, you're lucky you don't bleat!"

I viewed it more as a comment on what can happen when a person takes a mind altering drug {alcohol IS a drug} which messes with the portion of the brain that tells one "Don't do *.*"

Jackson's order to the Cherokee Nation re screw the Supreme Court and y'all take a long hike is far more dangerous and racist.

Ohio judges can rape Due Process and get no more than a public reprimand on a yea I did that so what defense for the SECOND offense (Judge S. Goldie - over dissent of C. J. Thomas Moyer (CJTM).
Prosecutors can quibble to a court with no actual suspension, over a dissent.
Prosecutors can LIE to a court and receive a no harm, no foul, dismissed (Kellogg-Martin over CJTM dissent).
Prosecutors can LIE to the Disciplinary Counsel's investigator and receive a yea he lied but that's o.k., dismissed.

The position of Mr./Ms. ? who typed "I'll take a honest racist any day over a thief/liar." on Mar 1, 2012 at 10:54:44 PM; makes so much sense that I am surprised (s)he did not furnish name, email and phone number.

Was a black lawyer (he was born in the U.S. - not on the African continent, so no A-A for him) a racist when he repeatedly told me (a white), "All you white people sound alike."?
I say not - I loved him as a brother and was the only white person as his pall bearer.

Was an Arab Palestine-American (born in Palestine-naturalized in the U.S.) co-worker a racist when he called me a "honkey"?
My response was that honkey was reserved for blacks and since he was Middle-East, he had to come up with a different word.

DJB, Columbus, Ohio
Send hate mail to PO Box 1018 ZIP+4 43209-7018
Email [email protected] for delivery directions for CARE packages of Isley single-malt scotch.
614☺579☻5402 (Verizon wireless)

1. A-10 Wart Hogs recalled
2. Silo doors closed
3. ☺ Reset "Rant Mode" switch from 1 to 0.
4. "Nemo Me Impune Lacessit"
5. Please don't dance with me on*.1 #4. A judge screwed over me and was dead due to violent (KE=½m·v²) trauma within 9 months, not by me but Karma.

*.1 Brazenly stolen from Justice Paul Pfeifer

Posted by: Docile Jim Brady | Mar 2, 2012 9:25:25 AM

CCDC, she linked the ability to judge a case with race. It's that simple.

Posted by: federalist | Mar 2, 2012 10:00:36 AM

This is overblown.

The punishable part of this judge's behavior is using a government computer to send personal messages. Almost everyone here has used their work computers in a manner that violated the company's IT regulations. Should you be fired for it? Of course not.

Is he a racist? Perhaps. However, there is no constitutional or legislative barrier to the federal bench for racists. In fact, he has every right to be a racist unless it impacts his job performance. Has anyone presented hard evidence that he conducts his courtroom in a manner that puts African-Americans at a disadvantage?

If not, those calling for his scalp are doing nothing but supporting intellectual tyranny. If he were a diaper-sniper, most of you would be volunteering to defend him in an impeachment hearing pro bono.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Mar 2, 2012 10:51:41 AM

michael: "Does anyone who is racist think that they are racist?"

me: having lived in the rural South, the answer is definitely yes. Outside of open dedicated White Supremacists in the KKK or neo-Nazis who will just flat out tell you that they are racists, not so much.

I kind of agree that the email was much more sexist than racist but that doesn't mean that it wasn't racist - it is very racist. Just that it is incredibly mysognistic.

Oh and apparently according to the false equivilency brigade engaging in consensual sex is the same as sending incredibly mysognistic and racist jokes (which also involves sex). What does the false equivilency brigade have against consensual sex?

Its also apparently equivilent according to the false equivilency brigade to state the obvious that a Latina is going to have a different perspective from a White male (i.e. stating the obvious) as to telling incredibly sexist and racist jokes.

And finally, the false equivilency brigade tries to claim that calling a schoolyard fight a schoolyard fight (that the racist White kids lost the fight they started doesn't transform a fight into an attack) is the equivilent to telling incredibly racist and sexist jokes.

Erika :)

Posted by: virginia | Mar 2, 2012 11:01:33 AM

TarlsQtr, it is NOT true that "the punishable part of this judge's behavior is using a government computer to send personal messages." I wouldn't care one bit if a judge sends personal e-mails from his work e-mail. Rather, a slight modification of your statement is needed:

The punishable part of this judge's behavior is using a government computer to send a POLITICAL, partisan message (BTW, that was also racist and sexits).

In the judge's own words, "it was political." You simply cannot tolerate that on the government's time and dime.

Posted by: right? | Mar 2, 2012 11:22:58 AM

I agree with Tarls. Racism should not disqualify one from being a judge. Neither should sexism or anti-semitism or any other kind of bias - unless you can prove, with hard evidence, that that affects his or her job performance.

Posted by: lawone | Mar 2, 2012 11:48:16 AM

And,as I'm sure Tarls would agree, Justice Sotomayor has every right to think that women make better judges than men, and to think that Latinos make better judges than non-Latinos. As long as there is no hard evidence that she conducts her job in a manner that puts men or non-Latinos at a disadvantage, there is simply no problem.

The "wise Latina" stuff was overblown.

Posted by: lawone | Mar 2, 2012 11:53:07 AM

Right,

It is "political" in the sense that it was a politically THEMED joke.

I view the restrictions against using government computers for "political" use as intended to ensure that employees do not use these computers to engage in fundraising emails, the printing of election materials, etc. It would seem quite a stretch to include this in such a category.

Lawone,

I agree with you. However, I view federalist's mention of the "wise Latina" comment as a statement against an obvious double-standard, which it is. I do not believe that either should lose their job over their actions/statements. However, the lack of consistency in how the "standard" is applied to conservatives versus liberals is a fair point.

After all, I did not hear many liberals gnashing their teeth about Robert KKK Byrd walking the Senate halls for the 132 years he was in office.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Mar 2, 2012 12:06:15 PM

TarlsQtr, "It would seem quite a stretch to include this in such a category."

You would be wrong. Most certainly, the rule is intended to prevent the use of government time and property from disseminating any partisan, political message whatsoever. And this judge specifically admitted his purpose was "political" and "anti-Obama."

Posted by: right? | Mar 2, 2012 1:35:35 PM

Tarls - Glad we're on the same page. The call for the California judge to recuse himself from the gay-marriage case was equally ridiculous. Without hard evidence that the judge would let his personal life affect his rulings in the courtroom, there was no reason for recusal.

Posted by: lawone | Mar 2, 2012 1:57:23 PM

Right,

I have no idea what was "intended", as I was not there when they wrote the rule. Perhaps you were. However, that someone could email a colleague using a government computer with the innocuous message, "Obama is a bum" and be fired is ridiculous.

That is exactly what you imply. Either you are wrong or the rule is asinine. Personally, I do not care which it is.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Mar 2, 2012 2:58:30 PM

Virginia: You ask: "What does the false equivalency brigade have against consensual sex?"

Bill Otis, who is the rear admiral of the false equivalency brigade, and Federalist, his lieutenant, don't know what consensual sex is.

Posted by: Calif. Capital Defense Counsel | Mar 2, 2012 4:26:14 PM

And the more I think about it, the rule against judges accepting gifts from litigants is silly too. Without hard evdience that a judge conducts his courtroom in a manner that puts non-gift-giving litgants at a disadvantage, there is no problem.

Posted by: lawone | Mar 2, 2012 5:15:24 PM

@Aaliya

"How many of you are white men who don't think this joke isn't racist? As an African-American woman, I find this VERY racist."
Good for you, maybe you'd like to explain how other than it's racist because you're black?

It's an old joke, it was always misogynistic and crass but it doesn't become racist just because it's applied to a Black guy.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Mar 2, 2012 5:47:15 PM

....I am reading what everybody else's viewpoint is about all of this but...what was President Obama's reaction to all of this???

Posted by: Kay | Mar 2, 2012 6:24:29 PM

MikeinCT, the primary target of this racist "joke" is actually a White woman who had a Black son.

Once you realize that, the sub gutter level racism is obvious.

Quite simply, this is the sort of thing you'd expect to hear from someone wearing a white robe and pointed hood - not a federal judge

Erika :)

Posted by: virginia | Mar 2, 2012 6:32:07 PM

Erika :) ¦ virginia

Would it be racist for a Black woman to have a White daughter ?

Posted by: Docile Jim Brady | Mar 2, 2012 10:09:09 PM

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