Should this Judge resign?


View Poll Results: Should the Judge resign
Yes 5 71.43%
No 2 28.57%
Not sure 0 0%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

Goober
#1
Should this Judge resign?
Adam Cohen: Why Racist Judges Should Resign | TIME Ideas | TIME.com (external - login to view)

When Judges Are Racist

What do you do with a federal judge who approvingly forwarded an e-mail “joke” suggesting that President Obama was conceived when his mother had sex with a dog? That is the question some members of Congress, lawyers’ organizations and public-interest groups are now asking. The right answer: try to get him to understand why he needs to resign from the bench.

Judge Richard Cebull, the chief judge for the district of Montana, last month forwarded an e-mail from his official court e-mail address, with the subject heading: “A Mom’s Memory.”

The text related a story: “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!”

In a note introducing the joke, Cebull said that he normally did not “send or forward a lot of these,” but that he found this story “a bit touching … Hope it touches your heart like it did mine.” Cebull admitted sending the e-mail to seven e-mail addresses, including his own personal one. When the message became public, the judge sent a letter to President Obama apologizing “profusely” to him and his family and promising that “such action on my part will never happen again.”


There were quick calls for Cebull to resign, including from the liberal nonprofit group Common Cause and from Representative Charlie Gonzalez, a Texas Democrat, the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Insisting that he is not racist — though admitting that the e-mail was — Cebull himself asked the San Francisco–based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which supervises his court, to investigate him for judicial misconduct.

But it’s clear where he misstepped: Cebull’s actions violated federal judicial rules, notably Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct for U.S. Judges, which requires judges to always act “in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.” An official commentary on the rule says there is an appearance of impropriety when “reasonable minds, with knowledge of all the relevant circumstances disclosed by a reasonable inquiry, would conclude that the judge’s honesty, integrity, impartiality, temperament, or fitness to serve as a judge is impaired.”

What Cebull did was not simply an isolated act of racism — it was a public proclamation that he considered this joke to be funny, or “touching,” rather than loathsome. Now that the public has looked into the ugliness of his mind, there is no way to erase what we have seen. Which raises a question: How are racial minorities who have business before the Montana district court supposed to feel if their case is assigned to Judge Cebull? What about biracial litigants? If he rules against a plaintiff in a race-discrimination case, it would be hard to escape the thought that he did so because of his own prejudice. In other words, Cebull’s impartiality, temperament and fitness to serve have been impaired — irretrievably.

Two leading Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee — Representatives John Conyers of Michigan and Steve Cohen of Tennessee — have called for a hearing into Cebull’s e-mail. That would be a good next step. Perhaps the e-mail was a onetime mental lapse, but that is unlikely — people who engage in racist communications generally don’t do it just once. A hearing would allow Congress to investigate whether there are other instances in which Cebull has acted in a racist way.

The Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee has not yet responded to the request. If there is a hearing, it could lead to a range of punishments, up to and including impeachment. There is no room on the federal bench for a judge who does not treat all people as equal before the law. At the same time, it is hard to be completely comfortable with the idea of Congress removing federal judges from office for offensive writings. If such oversight is taken too far — as some members of Congress might be inclined to do — it could greatly diminish the federal judiciary’s independence.

Which is why the best solution would be for Judge Cebull simply to resign. He would be showing personal responsibility for an ugly action and placing the larger interests of justice above his own personal desire to remain a federal judge. It would be a noble act — in fact, it would be touching.
 
L Gilbert
#2
That judge is an ass. I see no use for a judge that shows a lack of reason like in this instance.
 
SLM
+2
#3
While we certainly have all made mistakes, and no doubt a few "email" ones as well, I just think anyone who hold that level of public trust must be held to a higher standard. Certainly he requires some kind of sanction, probably the decent thing to do would be to resign. And I don't care about the "politics" of it, although I'm sure someone will be along quickly to get busy on that aspect of it. Bottom line, you cannot behave that way if you are a judge. I don't particularly think he's a racist though. Mostly just stupid, showing poor judgement and that's why he shouldn't be judging others.
 
L Gilbert
#4
Especially when he uses his official email to send stupid jokes like that.
 
SLM
+4
#5  Top Rated Post
Lol, yes. Nothing quite says "have faith in our legal system" like poor judgement from a judge.
 
DaSleeper
+1
#6
Never put in an email anything that you wouldn't want the whole world to know.
The way people CC forwarded mail, your name could spread to a few hundred PCs as the origin of that email.
 
eskavan
#7
Not only is the joke in bad taste, but it isn't even funny. And I have a very un-PC sense of humour.

I'm not sure why someone of his stature would send an email like this knowing well what would happen if it were circulated, as public figures' emails often are, but what's done is done. And see, that's the thing, I'm sure a lot of judges are of a similar temperament when it comes to the political figures they dislike, but are smart enough not to send bad joke emails insulting them. He should step down, but the only reason we can demand it is because he was caught. There are lots of people in similar sorts of positions with similar sorts of feelings...
 
TenPenny
#8
I would be interested to find out how this joke is racist.

It's insulting, but hardly racist.
 
Niflmir
+2
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPennyView Post

I would be interested to find out how this joke is racist.

It's insulting, but hardly racist.

Yeah... I'm with you on that. I am wondering if I am missing some cultural reference that would make me equate dogs with black people. I've been called a dog before, I always thought it was just an insult towards a man in general.

You know what they say, a clear conscience is a sign of a fuzzy memory.
 
eh1eh
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPennyView Post

I would be interested to find out how this joke is racist.

It's insulting, but hardly racist.

Right. Race is not the focus of this joke although it is metioned.
Well it may be racist as apparently a white chick screwed a dog and a black guy on the same night.
Whatever, sound kinda hot to me.
 
#juan
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by NiflmirView Post

Yeah... I'm with you on that. I am wondering if I am missing some cultural reference that would make me equate dogs with black people. I've been called a dog before, I always thought it was just an insult towards a man in general.

You know what they say, a clear conscience is a sign of a fuzzy memory.

What I got from that "joke" was the mother telling the son that on the night of his conception, he was fathered by a black man, but it could have been worse. He could have been fathered by a dog..........as if the black father was bad enough but....daddy could have been a dog. Certainly there was a touch of racism there.
 
eh1eh
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

What I got from that "joke" was the mother telling the son that on the night of his conception, he was fathered by a black man, but it could have been worse. He could have been fathered by a dog..........as if the black father was bad enough but....daddy could have been a dog. Certainly there was a touch of racism there.

Right, only a dog would be worse. OK, that's a bit racist.
 
wizard
#13
... the judge should be criminally prosecuted for dereliction of duty ...
 
Tonington
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeperView Post

Never put in an email anything that you wouldn't want the whole world to know.
The way people CC forwarded mail, your name could spread to a few hundred PCs as the origin of that email.

BCC is real dirty. Especially with office email. Poor judgement though. No doubt he wishes for a mulligan on that one!
 
TenPenny
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

What I got from that "joke" was the mother telling the son that on the night of his conception, he was fathered by a black man, but it could have been worse. He could have been fathered by a dog..........as if the black father was bad enough but....daddy could have been a dog. Certainly there was a touch of racism there.

I took it to mean that she had sex with lots of men, and also a dog. I did not interpret it to mean that having a black man for a father was bad, I took it to mean that having random sex with lots of men was bad, and a dog was worse.

But I guess that's just my interpretation.
 
CDNBear
#16
I side with the Nif and TP. This isn't racist.

Quote: Originally Posted by wizardView Post

... the judge should be criminally prosecuted for dereliction of duty ...

Why? Is he in on the plot to screw you out of your fathers money?
 
SLM
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPennyView Post

I took it to mean that she had sex with lots of men, and also a dog. I did not interpret it to mean that having a black man for a father was bad, I took it to mean that having random sex with lots of men was bad, and a dog was worse.

But I guess that's just my interpretation.

That's how I interpreted it as well. Stupid but not racist.

Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post


Why? Is he in on the plot to screw you out of your fathers money?

Isn't everyone?
 
JLM
+1
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by wizardView Post

... the judge should be criminally prosecuted for dereliction of duty ...

Along with every cop in the country.................eh Wizzy?
 
wizard
#19
... not only is the judge a flaming racist -- so is this thread!!!
 
Goober
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPennyView Post

I took it to mean that she had sex with lots of men, and also a dog. I did not interpret it to mean that having a black man for a father was bad, I took it to mean that having random sex with lots of men was bad, and a dog was worse.

But I guess that's just my interpretation.

No it was mine as well. I read the article, found the joke to be insulting as hell but not racist. Damm close to it though.
 
CDNBear
+2
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by wizardView Post

... not only is the judge a flaming racist -- so is this thread!!!

Oh I have to hear this...

Please do tell, how is the thread racist?
Last edited by CDNBear; Mar 13th, 2012 at 06:18 PM..
 
#juan
#22
Quote:

“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!”

"Don't even go there Barack"; A clear reference to Obama. Inferring that Barack was lucky he was just black and not something that barked.
 
JLM
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPenny;1559857[B

]I took it to mean that she had sex with lots of men, and also a dog.[/B] I did not interpret it to mean that having a black man for a father was bad, I took it to mean that having random sex with lots of men was bad, and a dog was worse.

But I guess that's just my interpretation.

You better watch it or you will have Boomer boy at your throat for denigrating ladies!
 
wizard
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

Oh I have to hear this...

Please do tell, how is the the thread racist?

... it's racist 'cause you're white and you're sh*tting on a black dude ...
 
CDNBear
+1
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by wizardView Post

... it's racist 'cause you're white and you're sh*ting on a black dude ...

1, I'm not white.

2, I haven't sh*t on anyone.
 
SLM
+2
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by wizardView Post

... it's racist 'cause you're white and you're sh*tting on a black dude ...

LMAO. More of a furry brown. Can't you see the picture?

If anyone is being **** upon in this thread, and I really don't think anyone is, it would be the judge. I figured you'd be all for that.
 
wizard
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

LMAO. More of a furry brown. Can't you see the picture?

If anyone is being **** upon in this thread, and I really don't think anyone is, it would be the judge. I figured you'd be all for that.

... why did you figure that?
 
SLM
+2
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by wizardView Post

... why did you figure that?

Cuz I'm familiar with your posts. Lol.
 
wizard
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Cuz I'm familiar with your posts. Lol.

... i've never even heard of this judge before let alone post about him ...
 
CDNBear
+2
#30
 

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