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Indian activists want to see racist emails from former judge

Filed Under: Law | Politics | Technology
More on: 9th circuit, barack obama, crow, judiciary, montana, racism, richard cebull, voting rights

RIchard Cebull, a former federal judge in Montana. File photo from U.S. Courts

Indian rights activists want to see racist emails that were sent by a former federal judge in Montana.

Richard Cebull stepped down after he admitted sending a racist message about President Barack Obama. A subsequent investigation found that he sent "hundreds" of inappropriate messages, including some about Native Americans.

The Judicial Council of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, however, said it didn't find any bias in any of Cebull's rulings. A report released earlier this year said he went out of his way to accommodate Indian defendants and their families.

But Four Directions of South Dakota, Indian People’s Action of Montana and Sara Plains Feather, a member of the Crow Tribe who appeared before Cebull, want to see his emails to determine for themselves if that's the case. They are asking a federal judge to release the messages and other electronic communications.

Cebull was nominated for a seat on the U.S. District Court in Montana by former president George W. Bush in 2001. He became chief judge of the court in 2008.

A family from the Crow Tribe adopted President Obama during his presidential campaign in 2008. The Crow Legislature passed a resolution that called on Congress to impeach Cebull, who stepped down in May 2013.

Before he resigned, Cebull presided over over Wandering Medicine v. McCulloch, an Indian voting rights case. He refused to order the state of Montana to open polling offices on reservations.

The state recently settled the case and agreed to open offices in Indian Country.

Get the Story:
Groups want racist emails from reprimanded Montana judge (AP 7/2)

Relevant Documents:
Four Directions Press Release (July 1, 2014)
Four Directions / Indian People’s Action / Sara Plains Feather / Petition (June 23, 2014)
Council of Large Tribes Resolution (March 6, 2014)

Related Stories:
Stephanie Woodard: Advocates want to see racist e-mails (1/23)
Federal judge in Montana sent hundreds of racist e-mails (1/20)
Probe of federal judge who sent racist email remains under seal (9/5)
Court delays action on retired judge over racist Obama email (5/14)
Montana federal judge who sent racist Obama email to retire (4/3)
Crow lawmakers call for removal of judge over racist email (3/20)
Editorial: Federal judge who sent racist email must step down (3/5)
9th Circuit to investigate judge who sent racist Obama e-mail (3/2)
Montana federal judge admits sending 'racist' Obama e-mail (2/29)

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