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That racist federal judge in Montana who sent a terrible e-mail to his friends deriding President Obama's mother as someone who conceived him with a dog is leaving his position as chief justice, but will remain on the court and still draw a full salary.

In my view, that's not good enough.  This clown needs to go.  He needs to resign or be removed completely.  Here's an excerpt from the AP story as carried on CBSNews.Com (

HELENA, Mont. — The chief federal judge for Montana plans to step down from the post and take a reduced caseload next year after forwarding a racist joke involving President Barack Obama.

U.S. Courts spokeswoman Karen Redmond said Thursday U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull of Billings will take senior status March 18.

That means he'll vacate his position as chief judge for the state and allow the president to appoint a replacement. Cebull will take a reduced caseload but will still draw a salary and can keep a staff.

Redmond says she can't comment on whether the move is related to the email that Cebull has acknowledged forwarding to a half-dozen people Feb. 20. The judge didn't return a call seeking comment.

Cebull asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in March to review his conduct after he was criticized for the email that included a joke about bestiality and Obama's mother.

Why is going to take five months for him to change his status?  We'll see how long he remains on the court in "senior status" with this "reduced" caseload (whatever that means) after he moves in March, but he should be gone already.  Sounds like his job just got easier with the same pay.  Where's the justice in that?  

About the only good news here, ironically, is that the same President this goofball slammed in the racist e-mail he sent around gets to appoint his eventual replacement.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A disgrace to the bench and the nation. (9+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv, jayden, majcmb1, codairem, Smoh, sabo33, jacey, Lujane, kurt

    Undeserving of "senior status". Undeserving of any status whatsoever.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 04:20:01 PM PDT

  •  I agree. Not enough at all. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kwik, majcmb1, Smoh, sabo33

    Seems like he's in an even better position, actually. Less work, still getting paid, still getting the prestige.

  •  In our Congress, on our court bench (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, Smoh

    so many assclowns about.

    "To recognize error, to cut losses, to alter course, is the most repugnant option in government." Historian Barbara Tuchman

    by Publius2008 on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 04:45:37 PM PDT

  •  I bet he is holding out until March... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hoping for a Romney presidency so he can stay in the position or Romney selects his replacement.

    He should go.

    ...The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time. - Jack London

    by dlemex on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 04:46:29 PM PDT

  •  Not to hard to guess. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh, kurt, subtropolis

    Judge Cebull entered into active service as an Article III judge on July 25, 2001. He will leave active service 11 years & about 7.5 months later. Judges are eligible for senior status or retirement at full salary + COLA according to the rule of 80. If he were 65, he would need 15 years of active service (65 + 15 = 80), but it's a sliding scale. He was born in 1944, but I don't know his exact birthdate. Next March he'll be either 68 or 69 -- his senior status date is very likely whatever it takes to make his age and service time add up to 80.

    There's no particular glory or prestige to being chief judge (it's judge, not justice, btw). It's a seniority-based system governed by statute, not an honor conferred on someone. In a larger district, Cebull might well have been removed from the chief position sooner, but at the time this happened, I don't think they had any other active judges statutorily eligible to serve -- one was too old and one was too new. I assume, without going back to research, that the circuit judicial council could invoke some emergency provision to install someone else, but that wasn't likely or even reasonable under the circumstances, in my view.

    As for the rest of the outrage, the behavior was certainly worthy of censure and all the crap that came his way, but nowhere near what has ever been reasonably considered impeachable. And that's the only way to make him go.

    •  Ack -- Not TOO hard to guess. n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  If that's not considered impeachable, the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      judiciary has very low standards.

      Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

      by Smoh on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 07:08:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The House can act on its own, so the judiciary's (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurt, subtropolis

        standards aren't the limiting factor. The House and Senate, of course, decide what's an impeachable & removable offense. The judicial council can refer a judge for impeachment, but there have only been 15 federal judicial impeachments in our history, and only five since 1936. The distance between an "offensive speech using office computer" standard and the acts that have given rise to impeachment is very great indeed -- such acts have included bribery, tax evasion, perjury, and sexual assault, and almost always involve a prior criminal conviction, or at least prosecution.

        Judicial discipline is another matter, and the email certainly warrants that & probably got or will get that. Personally, I think resignation would have been appropriate, but I thought so about Bill Clinton as well, and in the long run I was glad he disagreed.

      •  Why is it impeachable? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Villanova Rhodes

        His move was stupid and tasteless, but not criminal. To me, Anton Scalia runs his mouth every day in a much more vitriolic manner.

        "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

        by shmuelman on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 09:11:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The wheels of justice do grind slowly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Villanova Rhodes

    Judge Cebull denied being a racist, and asked the appellate court to investigate his behavior.
    Cebull is eligible for retirement next year. He will not be waiting to see who is the next President.
    Personally, I do not care to see blood in this case. We live in an absolutely polarized society, where hatred of the President is accepted behavior. Many politicians, pundits and others of the political class would have gone on the defensive, but the Cebull seemed truly contrite. He wrote an apology to the President.  The judge damaged a reputation he no doubt spent his life building and is now stepping aside.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 09:07:28 PM PDT

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