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The Tea Party’s New Favorite Jurist

[ 64 ] February 29, 2012 |

This George W. Bush nominee to the District Court seems to be using the Carl Paladino defense for his racist email:

The judge acknowledged that the content of the email was racist, but said he does not consider himself racist. He said the email was intended to be a private communication.

How racist emails become less racist if they were intended to remain private remains unexplained; I think this judge went to the Non-sequitur School of Law. I suppose it goes without saying that he follows this up with an “I’m sorry if you were offended” non-apology.


…this is another gem:

“The only reason I can explain it to you is I am not a fan of our president, but this goes beyond not being a fan,” Cebull said. “I didn’t send it as racist, although that’s what it is. I sent it out because it’s anti-Obama.”

Oh, well then.


Comments (64)

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  1. thebewilderness says:

    I have a couple family members like that. Not a public racist where it would have a negative effect on them. Just a private racist among friends and family. I guess that’s what they mean when they moan about having to be politically correct.

  2. PhoenixRising says:

    He thought an email he sent from work was private. Well, that explains everything… except wait…can anyone tell the class what cases would be relevant to determining whether an email you send from work is private communication, the property of the recipient, the property of whoever signs your paycheck or what combination of the above, under civil code? Criminal?

    ‘Cause I can’t recall. …guess it’s a good thing I’m not a federal judge.

  3. Warren Terra says:

    To be fair, his racism may be difficult to discern because the sheer magnitude of his misogyny gets in the way when trying to perceive it.

  4. David Kaib says:

    He thinks you can say racist things as long as no Black people hear it and get offended, then he’s cool.

    Here’s a thought – who thinks people of color are getting fair trials in MT?

    • Hurling Dervish says:

      This is just what I was wondering. It doesn’t seem like this is grounds for impeachment. But at the same time, it completely calls into question whether this guy has the ability to fairly hear a case involving women or blacks.

      • R Johnston says:

        That inherently makes it grounds for impeachment. Literal inability to do the job is always grounds for impeachment.

        • efgoldman says:

          I’ll be the first Jewish preznit years before this guy is impeached. Not gonna’ happen.

          • R Johnston says:

            Just because there are grounds for impeachment doesn’t mean impeachment will happen. And just because impeachment won’t happen doesn’t mean anyone should deny that the grounds are there.

            There is more than sufficient reason for an impeachment and removal from office. An impeachment won’t happen. I never said otherwise.

        • Richard says:

          No. He’s a federal judge which means he can only be impeached by the US Senate. In the history of the country, the only federal judge impeachments have been for taking bribes or committing felonies. This is not grounds for impeachment and he wont be impeached. He should resign but the bastard wont do that

          • thebewilderness says:

            The requests that he recuse himself from any and every case against a woman or minority might possibly make a point. It could be an exercise in futility, but sometimes public shaming works.

    • DrDick says:

      What people of color? Our fair (as in almost lily white) state is almost 90% white. Native Americans are 6.3% and Hispanics are about 3%. African Americans are at 0.4%. There is a reason that the white supremacists flock here (and norhtern Idaho). The answer to your question, however, is fuck no!. Native Americans (never included in those national statistics) are 18.8 percent of men and 29.6 percent of women prisoners.

      • LMG says:

        When is America going to stop representing “HISPANIC” as a race? By definition, Hispanic is a CULTURAL AFFILIATION. An Hispanic person can be white- as are people from “white countries” such as Spain and Argentina, or an Indian from Peru, or a black person from the Dominican Republic, or something else. If the official language of their country is Spanish, they are Hispanic. And no, Caucasian people are not always fair-skinned. Arabs are Caucasian, but are sometimes rather dark-skinned.

  5. Left_Wing_Fox says:

    “I’m not a racist. I just thought it was hilarious to imply that our president’s mother was a filthy drunken slut.”

  6. Fighting Words says:

    A bet he has a Black friend too. So he couldn’t possibly be racist.

    • Jeremy says:

      For your information, he has two black friends. Thereby insulating him from any accusations of racism, ever.

    • Anonymous says:

      He couldn’t possibly be racist because he’s a conservative. The liberals and other non-conservatives who can’t take a joke and who are too sensitive and effeminate to understand “political incorrectness” are the real racists.

  7. LosGatosCA says:

    If it wasn’t for his racist judge friends that won’t pressure him to resign, I’d say he’s a good candidate to be spending more time with his family soon.

    I think his cousin from Smith also shared some mail with her friends back at school.


  8. DocAmazing says:

    Might this be a good time to file appeals on a whole bunch of convictions in Montana?

    • DrDick says:

      Given the incarceration rates I cite above, hell yeah!

    • mining city guy says:

      I, without in any way justifying what Judge Cebull said, doubt that there is a single conviction of a defendant in a criminal case over which he presided that would be reversed on appeal on the grounds that he is a racist. Almost all federal criminal cases are tried to juries. The jury decides the guilt or innocence of the defendant and appellate courts are very reluctant to overturn a jury verdict.

      The trial judge can commit error during the conduct of a jury trial that would cause an appellate court to reverse a conviction. An example would be a ruling by the judge that allowed the prosecution to introduce evidence relating to the defendant that was irrelevant to the question of the defendant’s guilt. Another example might be whether certain evidence should have been suppressed because it was obtained as the result of an illegal search.But it is hard for me to think of a situation where a judge’s personal beliefs would have much of a bearing on most of these types of questions. This is particularly true of Judge Cebull who had a reputation as a very competent trial attorney and a very competent trial judge. ( Again, when I say this I am not defending the “joke” that he e-mailed)

      • Richard says:

        You’re right. His racism would not be grounds for a jury conviction to be overturned and wouldn’t be grounds for even a bench conviction to be overturned unless you could show that his racial animus led to an adverse, material decision, an impossible burden.

        His email might be grounds to recuse him in a pending case if one of the parties is African-Amierican or of mixed parentage but that would involve filing a recusal motion and facing his wrath if the motion was denied and the case kept in his court.

        • Scott Lemieux says:

          and facing his wrath

          The guy is a Bush appointee; how much worse can things get than just being a criminal defendant? Seems like all upside to me.

          • Richard says:

            Many possibilities for a downside For one thing, not all Bush appointees are terrible to criminal defendants (that is often the case and probably the case with this jerk but you never know). And even if he’s terrible for criminal defendants, he can be even more terrible if you file the motion for recusal, it gets denied and you are still before him. You can also expect he might take it out in other cases you have before him.

            Also you, as an attorney may have civil cases as well as criminal cases. You file a motion for recusal and it fails – he then has an animus against you in all your future cases in front of him civil and criminal. Filing a motion to recuse where you are not sure of winning and where the judge is a jerk always presents risks

  9. RS says:

    He forgot that if you add “Just sayin'” at the end, it makes it all better.

  10. dl says:

    stealing a comment from a different site:

    “Soon he’ll be saying some of his best friends are Dogs”

  11. c u n d gulag says:

    Man standing before Judge Cebull, accused of lynching a black man:
    “The lynching was not intended by me in any way to become public,” the accused said. “I apologize to anybody who is offended by it, and I can obviously understand why people would be offended.”

    Judge Cebull:
    “Ok, that’s good enough for me. CASE DISMISSED! And don’t do it again – unless you invite me, of course.”

  12. Malaclypse says:

    How come this post has been up for almost eight hours without Manju mentioning Robert Bryd once?

  13. R. Porrofatto says:

    “I’m not racist. I’m just a reely, reely stoopid federal judge. Also, fun fact: if you arrange your fireplace logs just so, you can burn a cross in the privacy of you own home.”

  14. Honorable..BOB says:

    This will go nowhere to the outrage of liberals.

    And the reason is no one can (or will) objectively define “racism”.

    As soon as they do, the other side can demonstrate that actors on their side are horribly racist as well. And everybody knows it.

    • Julian says:

      “And the reason is no one can (or will) objectively define ‘racism’.”

      A bold prediction.

      • John (not McCain) says:

        Bold, yet sadly incorrect:

        “a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.”


        • Honorable..BOB says:

          Perhaps you can now show us how the email encompasses anything that even hints of superiority. No hint at any of the points made.

          Sure you want to stick with this one?

          • DrDick says:

            Yea, we do. Somehow I think equating an African man with a dog fits that definition perfectly. Of course, since that would be a compliment if applied to you, you may see it differently.

            • Honorable..BOB says:

              Somehow I think equating an African man with a dog fits that definition

              You are entitled to your opinion but not to you your own facts.

              This joke was, indeed, a slap at Obama’s Mom and the kind of party she attended.

              But, it’s more advantageous for the left to assume the worst to demonize thier perceived enemies.

              As I stated earler, this is going nowhere….because there’s nothing there, except in your wishful thinking.

              • Malaclypse says:

                This joke was, indeed, a slap at Obama’s Mom and the kind of party [we like to imagine] she attended.

                Added the part you seem to have missed. And in the very next sentence:

                But, it’s more advantageous for the left to assume the worst to demonize thier [sic] perceived enemies.

                Please stop buggering irony’s helpless corpse.

          • olexicon says:

            Honorable Bob, your mother fucked a dog and it produced you, you shouldn’t be offended by this since I am in no way saying you are inferior

    • R. Porrofatto says:

      Gee, the even the guy who sent it thinks it’s racist.

      I didn’t send it as racist, although that’s what it is…

      Speaking of ellipses, or easy straight lines, what goes between Honorable and BOB?

  15. DrDick says:

    Ah yes, the wit and wisdom of the Montana Republican. Have to say that this actually qualifies him as one of our saner and more civil specimens.

  16. Uncle Kvetch says:

    And the reason is no one can (or will) objectively define “racism”.

    “The judge acknowledged that the content of the email was racist”

    Sentient trolls, please.

    • Malaclypse says:

      But he did spell everything correctly, so you must admit he’s not significantly stupider than Nieporent.

    • olexicon says:

      Not knowing what racism is and then trying to defend a racist is a hallmark

    • Honorable..BOB says:

      “The judge acknowledged that the content of the email was racist”

      What definition was *he* using? Because it certainly wasn’t the one offered up by yer buddy. It simply didn’t apply to anything in the email.

      Can anyhone do any better than this commenter?

      • olexicon says:

        Yes, when the guy who sent the email admits it is racist maybe you should stop digging, just a thought

      • Uncle Kvetch says:

        Can anyhone do any better than this commenter?

        Probably not. There’s only one way to settle this: I think you should ask one of your numerous black friends how they feel about it.

        • c u n d gulag says:

          Better yet, drop him Dishonorable Boob in a major “urban” area, outside of where the 1% live, or course, and have him explain to the indigenous darker people who live there, how that joke’s not racist.

          Also, while he’s there, have him do a survey of many of them own Caddy’s thanks to Welfare, and eat T-bones, and wash them down with Colt-45 thanks to Food Stamps.

      • Ben F says:

        So now this judge, and also Honorable Bob: two people who think that it’s funny to rape dogs.

        Tell me, HB, are you required to notify Animal Shelters whenever you change residencies?

  17. markg says:

    It’s not even remotely funny or clever. Nothing more than a staggering expression of hatred and contempt for the president by way of slurring his mother, in a deeply racist way. What a piece of work that judge is.

  18. rea says:

    If you go around saying this sort of disgusting thing, and you’re not a racist–well, hell, that probably makes it worse.

  19. […] thought police are hot on that judge’s trail this morning. Scott Lemieux’s commenter thebewilderness explains that the reach of current PC punitive enforcement just doesn’t go far […]

  20. […]  Scott Lemieux correctly notes:  ”How racist emails become less racist if they were […]

  21. Professor Fate says:

    So he sent this around because he’s “not a fan of Obama” not becuase he’s a racist. So why is he “not a fan of Obama” could it because He’s blackity Black Black?
    this is a bigot’s twofer – 1)Women are sluts and 2)having sex with a black man = bestality.
    The more you think about it the viler it gets.

  22. Eli Rabett says:

    This clown is clearly in violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct Canon 5
    # (A) General Prohibitions. A judge should not:

    2. (2) make speeches for a political organization or candidate, or publicly endorse or oppose a candidate for public office;

    Someone(s) should make formal complaints (Hint to the lawyers out there)

    He is also skating on very thin ice on Canon 2

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