March 2nd, 2012
02:41 AM ET

Judge apologizes for forwarding a racist e-mail aimed at Obama

Montana's chief federal judge has offered his apologies for forwarding a racist e-mail aimed at President Barack Obama. The judge also initiated a judicial misconduct investigation against himself.

Liberal advocacy groups demanded that U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull resign.

Cebull, in an interview Wednesday with the Billings Gazette newspaper, offered his regrets for forwarding the e-mail, saying it was "a hard lesson to learn."

"To say it's inappropriate and stupid is an extreme understatement," Cebull said in courthouse chambers on Wednesday, according to the newspaper. "There is no doubt it's racist. It wasn't forwarded for that purpose. If anything, it was political."


Filed under: Politics • U.S.
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    How was the e-mail racist?
    Does the journalist assume that all of his readers know the e-mail's content from other sources?
    Journalism can be both complete and concise simultaneously. We used to learn how to write in good journalistic style before leaving the seventh grade of a USA public school.
    I just read an article about severe tornado damage in a small city in an unidentified state in the Midwest. An addendum revealed the reporter's location.
    How do they get these jobs? Good hair?

    March 2, 2012 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      Goes to show us that you can't get all the "news" from from one source like CNN. The email was derogatory. Federal judges are not exempt from having political views, but to publicly insult the man in charge because of his lineage is unacceptable in my book.

      March 2, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      If a judge cannot be fair and impartial about the POTUS, going so far as to forward a racist e-mail about him, that judge has no business judging anything at all.

      March 2, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

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

      The man admitted sending it.
      I do not see what this particular journalist's writing ability has to do with an e-mail that the judge admitted to sending...the judge is the source, after all.

      March 2, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ©

      He didn't write it, he forwarded it privately to a few people. The only difference between this, and a joke passed on verbally and privately to a few friends, is there is now an electronic trace of it. I laughed. So I'm bad. And now there is proof on this website that I am bad, so now I apparently can't hold a job in public service.

      But it's just a joke. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being passing gas in the courthouse elevator, and 10 being seen beating your daughter on youtube, this is a 2.5. Let him continue as a judge.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I guess they have different criteria for Judges in Canada.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    I agree that racism is a terrible trait in anybody, and especially in a federal judge.
    I still have to Google the e-mail to find out what this journalist is writing about. That bothers me more than some bigot's racism, which I expect.

    March 2, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    @ banasy:
    Thank you.
    Now, although our posts crossed, I know what the judge wrote.
    I'm sending you a whole pot of coffee today: I didn't say anything about the journalism's affecting the judge's bigotry. I just wanted to know what the judge wrote. Thank's again for telling me.

    March 2, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    I just posted the e-mail he forwarded, also available in the full story.
    Click the link.
    Much more info.

    March 2, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    Make it extra strong, and send a delete button with you; for after posting the comment, I got the point.
    Our paths crossed again.

    March 2, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Also, please send me an IV unit, so I can bypass the middlewoman.

      March 2, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    You're getting Kona coffee, banasy, and a plane ticket there to rest.

    March 2, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Ah, JIF, don't I wish!

      March 2, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  7. Smurff

    It`s o.k. he`ll have 4 more years to send more racists emails

    March 2, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dott

    Why do some of my posts fail to get posted and then others.....

    March 2, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ©

      There are trigger words, naughty little 3 and 4 letter words, that automatically get filtered out, even if they are part of larger words. After a few dozen posts you start to catch on to what they are. But some of them don't make sense. Nobody has figured out yet, to my knowledge, why J-a-p-a-n is considered a naughty word.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Because I can.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dott

    Lets try this one more time. I am very frustrated about the over use of the work Racist. If we are all Americans why is everyone just waiting for a slip of the tongue and ready to scream Racist. Since we have so called "freedom of speech" why is this so rampant. Time to stop this childish action. Way past time.

    March 2, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. leeintulsa

    i don't see anything particularly racist about that.. more a slam on his mother, which i think is *as* bad in some circles, i suppose.. is it racist because it says 'black' and 'white'?

    there is no room for -isms on the bench, but this is kinda picking a nit..

    March 2, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Perhaps...and perhaps he could have used better judgement and not have forwarded it.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    Well, these kind of statements have been the norm for the last little over threes years, so I guess we need to prepare to hear them for another little over four years more. I mean, they ARE only words afterall. And people that feel the need to use these words, do nothing but show their ignorance.

    March 2, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  12. saywhat

    This sentiment has been unashamedly exhibited by those who couldn't swallow the election of a person of color to this office ever since President Obama's taking oath.
    This 'upholder & dispencer of justice' should now be at the recieving end of an appropriate punishment. Just an apology wouldn't do.

    March 2, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      @saywhat: Yep.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Somebody who has trouble getting the point of jokes

    Then what happened? What kind of dog was it?

    March 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Greek American

    I have seen these types of so-called "jokes" all over the internet since Obama became POTUS. I just read and then delete when and if anyone ever sends them to me anyway.

    March 2, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Ahhh....a person sensible enought not to avail themselves to the FWD button and instead uses the delete button...

      March 2, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Greek American


    Agreed. He shouldn't have been forwarding this garbage. I do give him credit for his statement and taking full responsibility and the apology though.

    March 2, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      @Greek American:
      He does get props for that.
      Refreshing to see someone take responibily for his actions....
      The comment above that starts out "Ah..." is for you, BTW; I don't know if you're on a phone or not.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
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