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October 2020


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: judge richard cebull

Column: Fed Judge Who Circulated Racist Joke Should Resign

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel

It would come as no shock to find out some Republican appointees to the federal bench are not President Obama’s biggest fans.

Nonetheless, it still comes as a shock that Chief Judge Richard Cebull, who is in his late 60s, who was appointed by George W. Bush to the fed bench in Montana in 2001, would circulate an email with a blatantly racist joke about the President.

Sure Cebull is sorry. He’s apologized to the President personally. He has said that his essential endorsement of the joke wasn’t really about race but rather about his dislike for Obama. And oh yes, he admitted the joke was pretty racist.

Cebull needs to resign from the bench.

In case you haven’t seen the joke, here it is:

“A little boy said to his mother; ‘Mommy, how come I’m black and you’re white?’” the email joke reads. “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 Richard Cebull/wikipedia

Sure Judge Cebull is sorry. We all do stupid things. But as a friend Daniel Proudfoot commented on, the spell has been broken and Cebull “cannot be made whole again.” The trust is gone. I look at this way: If a bank teller steals once, can they ever be trusted again?  The teller will always be suspect.

Let’s be honest.

If you were an African-American, would you trust the judge to be fair and impartial? If  your life literally depended on it, the answer is a big NO!

So the question is: Can we have someone on the federal bench who can only preside over cases with white defendants? Who can only sentence white defendants?

If you thinks that’s a good idea, then by all means, keep him on the bench.

If not, Judge Cebull, needs to retire, sooner than later.