Judges are primarily known for one thing: their good judgment. But that is the opposite of what Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull used when he decided to send an email to six of his "'old buddies' and acquaintances" containing an exceedingly racist joke about President Obama. Oh, and he sent it from his official courthouse email address too. Pure class. The subject line was "A MOM'S MEMORY," and here is what followed:
Normally I don't send or forward a lot of these, but even by my standards, it was a bit touching. I want all of my friends to feel what I felt when I read this. Hope it touches your heart like it did mine.
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!"
Wow, yeah, that certainly does touch the heart, in that it makes the heart seethe and boil with rage. Of course, you must understand, Cebull, who has served as chief judge for the District of Montana since 2008, didn't mean it. Well, more precisely, he didn't mean for us to see it.
It was not intended by me in any way to become public. I apologize to anybody who is offended by it, and I can obviously understand why people would be offended.
You don't seem to fully comprehend how forwarding around "funny" jokes works, your honor. They keep going, and then everyone can see the email addresses of the people who sent it before—which is exactly how Cebull got busted. He now admits sending it was in poor judgment, so that's a step in the right direction. Oops, nevermind, now we're going backwards again:
The only reason I can explain it to you is I am not a fan of our president, but this goes beyond not being a fan. I didn't send it as racist, although that's what it is. I sent it out because it's anti-Obama.
Oh, yeah, now that you say it like that, it totally makes sense. Who knew you could endorse a joke on some levels but not on all levels? Must be one of those neat legal loophole jobbies. Of course, just because he'd send something so racist doesn't mean he actually is a racist: "I did not forward it because of the racist nature of it. Although it is racist, I'm not that way, never have been." Well, now that we've got that cleared up, you can go ahead and submit your resignation in 5...4...3...2...
Chief U.S. District Judge sends racially charged email about president [Great Falls Tribune via TPM]