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Chief Federal Judge Apologizes to President Obama

“I sincerely and profusely apologize to you and your family for the email I forwarded,” Cebull wrote to the president. “I accept full responsibility; I have no one to blame but myself. I can assure you that such action on my part will never happen again. I have requested that the Judicial Council of the 9th Circuit review this matter. Honestly, I don’t know what else I can do. Please forgive me and, again, my most sincere apology.” This was the letter sent to President Obama by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull of Montana.

The judge is acknowledging he sent a racist joke about President Obama’s parentage in an email forwarded to six “old buddies.” The email read: “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!’ ”

Judge Cebull apologized for the email, telling the Great Falls Tribune and the Billings Gazette that he is not a racist. He forwarded the text from his office computer on Feb. 20. Judge Cebull told a paper: “To say it’s inappropriate and stupid is an extreme understatement.”

Judge Cebull, nominated by President George W. Bush, who is not an Obama supporter stated: “There is no doubt it’s racist. It wasn’t forwarded for that purpose. If anything, it was political.” “The fact is that isn’t how I’ve conducted myself as a federal judge. Never has anybody asserted I was racist,” he said.

Judge Cebull has since reported his conduct to the Judicial Council of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Democrats are calling for a hearing into the Judge’s actions. Representative Hank Johnson sent a letter to Judge Cebull asking for him to resign because of his actions in this situation. What happens to Judge Cebull due to his racist email, will be determined in the future.

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