Judge who forwarded racist Obama joke retires

JAMES WOODCOCK/AP U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull of Montana is under fire for sending a racially charged email about President Barack Obama. Cebull said the message reflected his political views, but denied he’s a racist. Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/federal-judge-montana-emails-racist-joke-obama-article-1.1031703#ixzz2PQ4RE7gZ U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull (James Woodcock/Associated Press)

A federal judge who forwarded an e-mail featuring a racist joke about President Obama's mother has retired, effective May 3.

In March 2012, U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull of Montana admitted to forwarding the e-mail, which found its way to the Great Falls Tribune.

After the Tribune's report, Cebull acknowledged that the message was racist and apologized. He said his only intent was to criticize Obama's politics, not his race. Last fall,  Cebull stepped down as chief judge and took on a reduced caseload.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals opened a judicial misconduct investigation at the behest of both the liberal group Common Cause and Cebull himself. An order and memorandum produced as a result of that investigation in mid-March are confidential.

Cebull's retirement was announced in a statement from Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th circuit.

The judge was nominated to the district bench by President George W. Bush in 2001 and served as chief judge from 2008. Previously, he was a U.S. magistrate judge for the District of Montana from 1998 to 2001.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.

politics

post-politics

Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Politics

politics

post-politics

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Next Story
Rachel Weiner · April 3, 2013

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.