The National Law Journal reports that Richard Cebull, chief judge of the U.S. District Court of Montana, has filed a complaint of judicial misconduct against himself on March 1 after acknowledging he sent a racist e-mail to friends and family about President Obama.
According to the story, Judge Cebull, who was appointed by President Bush in 2001 and has been chief judge of the District of Montana since 2008, has publicly acknowledged that he has acted inappropriately and sent a letter to Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski to request an investigation of his own misconduct.
At least one organization was already preparing to file the complaint and has called for the judge to resign, according to the NLJ. Common Cause spokeswoman Mary Boyle told the NLJ that her organization planned to file a complaint with the 9th Circuit the same day.
From the NLJ:
"We're calling on him to resign," she said, adding that Common Cause sent copies of its statement to every member of Congress. "We think that Congress has a role here to say something, and if Congress is silent on this, they send a message that this kind of language or behavior will be tolerated by the federal judiciary." ....
Cebull sent the e-mail from his courthouse address on Feb. 20 to family members and friends. The subject line was: "A Mom's Memory." The text said: "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 e-mail was first reported on Feb. 29 by the Great Falls Tribune. Cebull apologized via the Tribune and The Billings Gazette, acknowledging that the e-mail was racist but insisting that he personally is not. He said he passed along the joke because it was "anti-Obama."