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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Montana Judge Under Fire For Anti-Obama Email

Dozens of people attended a town hall meeting this week in Billings, Montana to express concern about Chief U.S. Judge Richard Cebull.

Late last month, he forwarded an email from his office computer that contained a joke based on sexual and racist slurs against President Barack Obama.

Cebull has since apologized to the President but there still calls for his resignation or even impeachment.


  • Clair Johnson, who covers the federal court for the Billings Gazette

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  • Anonymous

    He received and forwarded an email from family. He submitted a complaint against himself to a higher court to review. He sent a letter of apology to President Obama.

    Move along folks, nothing to see here; or, come right in and see the egress!

    • Merryterry1

      you have obviously never been a victim of racism.

      • Susan Brownell

        Or sexism. This  denigrates the prsident’s  mother who is to be admired for producing such a remarkable son

    • Anonymous

      Does the lack of email of ill-considered subject matter by other Federal Judge’s then reassure you that they don’t share the same blindnesses? I’m not.
      The judge should be smart enough to recognize a learning-moment. Or do we think they arrive to the Bench fully formed? I expect he will be all the fairer to those who appear before his court.
      Had he not apologized and filed a complaint, I’d probably think differently.

  • Michael

    Heard one of  the main issue was that the Judge used his work account to said the email

  • Peter

    He is a federal judge , who enjoys a lifetime appointment. His conduct is held to a higher standard; indeed he is to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.  How can a non-white defendant appear before him now and believe that this judge will act fairly. He should resign. The 9thCir. review will be headed by a judge who is very conserative and will , at best, offer a slap on the wrist.

  • R1281

    Here we go again, another idiotic racial comment from,  surprise surprise, a Republican.  I would have never guessed.

  • Laurae

    He should resign. Every judgement he makes from now on will be questioned. A federal judge should know that they will be subjected to a higher standard of behavior than others.

  • http://profiles.google.com/natirvin Nat Irvin II

    The Judge should either step down, be severely  reprimanded, or removed from office…how can anyone of color stand before this judge and expect that he or she would receive a fair trial? And even if he were fair, has he not now raised the suspicion that such would not be the case?  

  • evie

    That judge passed along a “joke” that is primarily insulting to women, especially our President’s mother.  How dare he!!  Resignation by the judge is a good idea.

  • Thane108

    You raised the issue of past decisions but left the discussion with no one has suggested that past decisions reflect racism.  Has anyone done a statistical analysis to determine if there was a bias?  If so, it would be helpful to share that data.  A history of objectivity wouldn’t excuse the behavior, and people of color would be left with some fear of bias, but the data would help place the behavior in context. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TOE5U4TBAHK4KR2ZNYEWYAFHP4 Christy

    I really don’t get the joke, it is stupid. But I have to wonder, is this not something that would be protected by free speech? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1335415822 Keith Barton

    Use of federal email by a federal judge requires 100% responsibility for knowing what you are doing. If he is not at least removed and a significant percentage of his Federal retirement garnished, this country’s “justice” system will be substantially damaged. Anything less will remind the 99% that those in control are held to a lower standard than everyone they control. The judge administers and evaluates people for their actions before the law and holds them responsible His wisdom and judgement are his stock in trade.  The fact that he hasn’t already resigned means that the system must now do it for him.

  • Susan Brownell

    Of course he should resign. What kind of a message does it send if he stays on?  Besides he must be just plain dumb to pass on such a disgusting “joke”.  What kind of judge can he be?
    He’s shown absolutely no “judgement” in this case.

  • Gardenia

    Judge Cebull should resign. There is no place in our justice system for unprofessional, racist behavior. Our President is The President of the United States and deserves to be shown respect as such by government employees while on the job, no matter their personal beliefs and prejudices.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HQROUQ7WH5LL4XEYI4N7E5LZYI Dale

      Just when did it come into your feeble mind that this was a racist thing, I think its a judge with a sense of humor. It cannot be racist because Obama is 1/2 white, 3/8 muslim and 1/8 black. It would be more racist if the judge was black.

      • Terryduke1

        what an idiot you are . Muslim is not a race. idiot

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NLINWLRQTB23KF3X26H5ENTKMU Samuel J

    You always mention skin color when the criminal is white and leave it out otherwise.  I don’t care which way you do it but please be consistent especially when the crime is race related.

  • Lively Liz

    We can’t have confidence in his decisions about the fate of people who are already marginalized if he clearly admits that he “hates” certain people, especially the president. I won’t be able to trust any of his decisions from here on. Forwarding email from a work account — in this case a judge’s chamber– is serious.  We should not give this judge a “pass” on this. His job is judgement and this is BAD JUDGEMENT — a sign of skill or lack thereof.

  • Elaine

     vignor has it wrong.  No judge should disrespect our/his President EVER.  His apology was lame and he did it only because he got caught doing something stupid.

  • Msdunno18

    what this judge did was not right and he admits it. but calls for resignation bc of a chain email? and calling him a racist for passing along a joke? 

    seriously? :) shouldn’t doling of such demands and labels be dependent upon how many racist remarks he has made in court or how many people of color he has unduly convicted  on the basis of race? 

    if he is a racist who must resign for passing along a joke, well then boehner n the rest of the republican leadership should have resigned or been booted a long time ago for being racist and failing to do their job, like, for example, when they let our nations credit rating fall by refusing to cooperate with president obama on a matter where party lines shouldn’t matter (bc the last time we were on the brink of a downgrade, the situation in dc was much like it was this time around except the democratic president then was 100% white). why hasn’t anyone called boehner a racist for his OUTRIGHT (forget emails) disrespect towards our president and his refusal to even discuss certain matters with the head honcho? 

    seems like this poor judge is just a scapegoat for our racially frustrated leadership..so y’all need to put your pitchforks up unless you are willing to go after the real, hard to hit, culprits!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HQROUQ7WH5LL4XEYI4N7E5LZYI Dale

    I don’t know about the rest of you but I think I might like a judge with a sense of humor better than one without.

    • Terryduke1

      but he wasn’t funny

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