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Will Racist Comments About the President Impact Lifetime Federal Judge Appointments?

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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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About Donald W Tucker

  • http://blogcritics.org/politics/article/will-racist-comments-about-the-president/ The Duke

    The joke MAY be racial. But it is not racist except in your mind.
    The point is that Obama’s mother was a slut.
    If anything it is insulting to a white woman. And not because she is white.
    Because she was a trashy woman.
    Just as Pastor Manning has pointed out.
    Get the chip off of your collective shoulders.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    To all BC conservatives – witness comment #1. Does it not say something to you to know that most people who keep such opinions are on the conservative side?

    Lay down with dogs, get up with fleas. Lay down with tea partiers, get up with santorum.

    At some point you really should ask yourselves why it is you have so many looney-tuners on your side…and maybe it’s not a good thing to be on the same side as them.

  • Balladeer

    Speaking of “looney-tuners”, I suppose you consider the Occupy crowd to be upstanding citizens.
    We need more people on the bench like Judge Cebull, and fewer trashy, naive white women and their apologists who wince while they make racist mountains out of innocuous molehills, like the author of this article.
    Leftists are hypocrits.

  • ASUWoman

    I believe that the moral of the article is that a Federal Judged forwarded a personal email on the time of his professional non bias Government employment. As each of the previous commenter has done, put their person feelings down, hopefully on their personal time. This judges position is one that his personal feelings should not influence his decision as a judge, but when you send an email on company time that is very controversial what does it say to others of what your views are. Yeah the hole anti-Obama thing was said, but still was not something that should have been sent from his chambers. He should step down because if he does not know his own rules and regulations of his job, how is he going to uphold the law.

  • Igor

    Amazing.

    An amazing outburst of blatant racism and personal derogation of the president.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    BC conservatives, look at comments #1 and #3 – these are YOUR people.

  • Cannonshop

    #6, yeah, they almost equal you and Igor, though I admit your spelling is a bit better as is your grasp of punctuation.

    #3 Balladeer, the spelling is “Hypocrites”, with an “e”-the “e” is silent, as in “Time”.

    #4 Internet award nomination for staying on topic and not trying to turn this into a childish name-calling contest. The Judge in this situation violated basic professional conduct, and prejudiced any future rulings by acting more the fratboy, than the jurist. You have made a very good point in your comment.