Law | National

Court delays action on retired judge over racist Obama email

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has delayed action on a former federal judge who sent a racist e-mail about President Barack Obama.

Judge Richard Cebull admitted that he circulated the e-mail in February 2012. He apologized to Obama and his family but the Crow Tribe and others called for him to be removed from the bench or step down.

The Judicial Council of the 9th Circuit completed an investigation into the matter on March 15. But Cebull announced his retirement before the end of the 63-day appeal period.

As a result, the Judicial Council vacated the March 15 order as "moot." The council will consider the matter at its next meeting on June 18, according to the order but it's unclear if the investigation will ever be released, the Associated Press reported.

Cebull is a former judge for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. He 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.

Prior to his retirement, Cebull presided over Wandering Medicine v. McCulloch, an Indian voting rights case. He refused to order the state to provide satellite voting offices for members of the Crow Tribe, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe and the Fort Belknap Indian Community.

Get the Story:
9th Circuit: Order on Cebull investigation 'moot' (AP 5/13)

Related Stories:
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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