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April 3, 2013

"Judge to retire after sending racist Obama email"

The title of this post is the headline of this notable new AP article following up on a federal judiciary story that generated some blog-worthy discussions around a year ago.  Here are the basics (followed by  back-story links to prior posts):

Montana's chief federal judge will retire following an investigation into an email he forwarded that included a racist joke involving President Barack Obama.

U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull had previously announced he would step down as chief circuit judge and take a reduced caseload, but he informed the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that he now intends to fully retire May 3. The appellate court posted a statement by Chief Judge Alex Kozinski on its website Tuesday announcing Cebull had submitted the retirement letter.

The March 29 letter comes after the appellate court's Judicial Council issued a March 15 order on the investigation into the February 2012 email, but appellate court spokesman David Madden could not say whether Cebull resigned because of the order. "The misconduct process is confidential. I am not privy to what the order said nor do I know what Judge Cebull's motivations were," Madden said in Wednesday email.

The council's order will remain confidential during an appeal period, which concludes May 17, Madden said. The council will make an announcement after Cebull's retirement takes effect, he said, but added that he was unable to answer when the order or the letter will be released to the public.

A Cebull aide directed calls for comment to Clerk of Court Tyler Gilman, who said Wednesday that Cebull would not have any comment other than the court's statement. He declined to release the resignation letter or describe what it said.

Cebull wrote a letter of apology to Obama and filed a complaint against himself after The Great Falls Tribune published the contents of the email, which included a joke about bestiality and the president's mother.

The Billings judge forwarded the email from his chambers to six other people on Feb. 20, 2012, the newspaper reported.  Two other groups also demanded an investigation, with one, the Montana Human Rights Network, starting an online petition calling for Cebull's resignation.

Kim Abbott, the network's co-director, said Wednesday she was pleased with the announcement but hopes to see the results of the investigation.  "The email really called into question his ability to treat women and people of color fairly, so we're happy Montanans will get to appear before a different judge," Abbott said.

The complaints were referred to a special committee appointed by the appellate court to investigate whether Cebull's email constituted misconduct.  Kozinski's statement said the committee submitted a report to the Judicial Council in December after "a thorough and extensive investigation" that included interviews with witnesses and Cebull and going over related documents. The council issued its order based on that report....

Cebull previously said he would take senior status March 18, which would have allowed another judge to be appointed while he continued working with a reduced caseload. U.S. Sen. Max Baucus then formed a committee to replace Cebull and another judge taking senior status, with Baucus recently recommending that Obama appoint state District Judge Susan Watters of Billings to take Cebull's spot on the bench.

The new chief federal judge, U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen, plans to meet with other judges to discuss how to handle the Cebull's cases, Gilman said. Cebull was a Billings attorney for nearly 30 years before becoming a U.S. magistrate in Great Falls in 1998. He became a district judge in 2001 and has served as chief judge of the District of Montana since 2008.

Related prior posts (all from March 2012):

April 3, 2013 at 05:12 PM | Permalink

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Comments

The Supremacy has often argued that the lawyer hierarchy oppresses the public, and plunders the assets of productive males, that the lawyer is doubly oppressed, and that the street judge is triply so.

Here a judge cannot tell a joke without losing his job, and being replaced by a feminist running dog, in a Democratic Party pretextual, gotcha, feminist operation ("...recommending that Obama appoint state District Judge Susan Watters of Billings to take Cebull's spot on the bench."). This is a feminist waking nightmare. Prof. Berman will be pleased to learn that she sentenced someone to some real prison time after only 16 DUI convictions.

If I were a black or female party to a tribunal, I would request Judge Cebull by name. He would be bending over backwards to prove his fairness toward me.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Apr 3, 2013 8:04:32 PM

Pity. Wonder what happened to his right to free speech! oh wait i guess he's not black!

Should have told them all to kiss off!

Posted by: rodsmith | Apr 6, 2013 12:33:14 AM

Rod: He is too terrorized by the criminal cult enterprise that has destroyed his life. The feminist is the KKK of our time, only 100 times more lethal and 10 times more effective.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Apr 7, 2013 6:29:09 AM

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