Bloggers/readers, do you have a feeling that we are going back to the dark ages? The Senate just voted down a bill that had the potential to diminsh the rights of women to have input in their own reproductive systems. It would have given their employers the authority to decide what was proper for a woman’s health care.
I think this is very scary because it is white conservative men who are pushing these archaic ideas. Although the measure was defeated in the senate the controversy is not over, because the House may push a similar bill, which will cause even more turmoil for women.If this attack on women by the right is is not enough, now we have a Chief Federal Judge from Montana, who has sent out a vile racist e-mail that demeans the President of the United States.
Federal Judge Richard Cebull was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2001. Cebull sent a racist email from his judicial chambers in the federal building and later admitted the contents of the email were in fact racist and made this statement to his email recipients, “It was a bit touching and I want all of my friends to feel what I felt when I read this. Hope it touches your heart like it did mine.”
The email is entitled, “A Mom’s Memory” and says, “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.'”
Again, Cebull says he was “touched.” The judge continues to state he is not a racist, so why was he touched? How can he try to dial back such an unprofessional, asinine and inappropriate email posting? In my opinion he is a racist and the fact that President Obama is black apparently touches his racist heart and offends his standards. And what does it say about the recipients, his brother, his old buddies and acquaintances? Were their hearts touched also?
Even Cebull’s explanations have a racist tinge that’s hard to believe. He says he didn’t send it out as a racist, although that is what it is. “I sent it out because it’s anti-Obama.” He attempts to tell us that it was somehow merely a political statement.
I am sure Cebull understands it is against the judicial code of conduct to engage in political activities in his chambers. How many employers in today’s society will fire employees for using work stations for this kind of activity? Does he hate this president so much because of his policies or because of the color of his skin?
Can this country afford to continue to have a person like this on the federal bench?
This episode reminds me of the photo of the president and his family, depicting them as chimpanzees, which was sent out by a Republican politician in California. She also tried to justify what she did by saying it was a joke and was not a racist act.
Cebull is a federal judge who should be removed from the bench for his actions. How can he be trusted to hear cases involving blacks and minorities, with his being touched by such a vile text? He will say he can be impartial in his judicial decision but his actions speak louder than his words.
However, the fact is, he can’t be removed because he has a life time appointment. Yes, he will be on the bench until he dies or voluntarily retires. We will have to live with all of his decisions and judgments as long as he is on the bench.
There was a case in Arizona where a city police officer took a photo of his smiling high school son and some of his friends, holdings guns and a T-shirt with the photo of President Obama with bullet holes. The police officer posted the photo on his Facebook page, along with his own picture in his police uniform. “I am not a racist,” he also proclaimed.
It’s amazing to me that people who hold positions of trust and responsibility, can engage in repulsive conduct that brings into question their judgment, character and intelligence. The police officer in question has been demoted and suspended. Unfortunately, the judge will still be sitting on the bench because of his life time appointment.
It is very difficult to remove a federal judge from the bench. Impeachment is an option but not probable. I know from experience federal judges have to adhere to a code of conduct. Canon 2 of the code states: “A judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities.” Canon 2A of the code states: “An appearance of impropriety occurs when reasonable minds, with knowledge of all the relevant circumstances disclosed by reasonable inquiry, conclude that the judge’s honesty, integrity, responsibility, temperament or fitness as a judge is impaired.”
Public confidence in the judiciary is eroded by irresponsible conduct by judges. This prohibition applies to both professional and personal conduct.
Judge Cebull’s actions violated both codes of conduct.
I have a chapter in my book, The Two Edged Sword, in which I detail my reasons for eliminating lifetime positions for federal judges and the Supreme Court. These judges not only become too powerful, but some, not all, develop the attitude of practically being a higher power and untouchable.
I hope Cebull makes the right choice and steps down. He has brought disrespect to the federal bench.
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