A banner for Indian People's Action. Photo: Indian People's Action

Arguments heard in lawsuit over federal judge's racist e-mails

A federal judge heard arguments today in a dispute over the racist e-mails of a former federal judge from Montana.

Richard Cebull resigned from the bench after he admitted circulating a racist message about President Barack Obama. An investigation later turned up "hundreds" of other inappropriate emails -- including some about Native Americans.

The messages, however, are being kept from the public. Indian People’s Action, Four Directions and two members of the Crow Tribe want to see them to determine if Cebull showed bias in the courtroom.

"He may very well have said something specific in those emails about a specific person or a dumb Indian in his court room or something," Lita Pepion Indian People's Action told MTN News. "I think there might be some documentation to that in those emails. If there's not, fine. But let's just take a look and see."

The messages are being preserved under an order issued by Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers in California. Government attorneys are seeking a reconsideration of that order.

Get the Story:
Hearing Tuesday determines whether Judge's racist emails can be used in appeals (MTN News 5/26)

Join the Conversation

Related Stories:
Racist emails of former Montana federal judge to be preserved (03/26)
Another lawsuit filed over former federal judge's racist emails (03/04)
Government attorneys don't want to release judge's racist emails (12/09)
Former convicted leader of Crow Tribe seeks to clear his name (11/26)
Indian activists want to see racist emails from former judge (07/02)
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)