One year ago this week, on February 29, 2012, the Montana Great Falls Tribune exposed a now-notorious racist e-mail that federal district judge Richard Cebull sent about President Obama. The judge defended his distribution of the e-mail to friends by claiming that he is "not a fan of our president," making it even clearer that his racist conduct and openly expressed partisan beliefs prevent him from being a trusted judge. People For the American Way was among those calling upon him to resign.
On March 23, Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Kozinski appointed a committee of federal judges to investigate and "to make a report and recommendation to the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit." But Judge Cebull has continued to decide cases, and there has been no public announcement of any progress by the investigating committee.
Last fall, he announced that he plans to take senior status on March 18, which will allow him to take a lighter caseload but still make decisions of justice affecting people and businesses in Montana. His taking senior status will in no way lessen the damage he does to the federal judiciary by remaining on the bench.
We are still awaiting appropriate action.