Law | National

Probe of federal judge who sent racist email remains under seal

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has again failed to make public its investigation into a former federal judge who sent a racist e-mail about President Barack Obama.

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.

Cebull ended up resigning in March 2013 but the letter remains under seal. The results of the 9th Circuit's investigation also remain under seal even though they were due to be released yesterday.

The matter is now before the U.S. Judicial Conference in Washington, D.C., The Great Falls Tribune reports. A federal judiciary expert said the lengthy process indicates something else turned up during the investigation.

“I continue to believe that it has to be something more serious,” professor Arthur D. Hellman told the paper. “The fact that the review process is continuing and that it has extended over this period of time suggests that. You don’t need a prolonged investigation like this to determine that one email constituted misconduct, particularly when that judge is no longer a judge."

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.

A family from the Crow Tribe adopted Obama during his presidential campaign in 2008.

Get the Story:
Cebull review goes to national panel (The Great Falls Tribune 9/5)

Related Stories:
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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