Order in the Court: Judge Richard Cebull’s E-mail Dilemma

Montana’s Chief Federal Judge Richard Cebull recently got himself into some hot water, and is actively trying to resolve his situation. As CNN News’s report explains, on Wednesday, February 29th the man forwarded a racy e-mail that he received from his brother. Despite proclaiming that he absolutely did not write the email and publicly apologizing, Cebull acted on his obligations, and the Huffington Post (among many other sites) have confirmed that, “Cebull said he requested that the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit review the situation.”

CNN did post the e-mail and its context:

“Normally I don’t send or forward a lot of these, but even by my standards, it was a bit touching. I want all of my friends to feel what I felt when I read this. Hope it touches your heart like it did mine.

“A little boy said to his mother, ‘Mommy, how come I’m black and you’re white?’ His mother replied, ‘Don’t even go there Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you’re lucky you don’t bark!'”

Of course, Cebull’s apologies have been largely directed towards President Obama himself for the admittedly offensive content.

Chief Federal Judge Richard Cebull’s situation reveals the strong influence of the Internet, and how putting things into any more public sphere can have tragic consequence. Even with privacy settings, it will always prove beneficial to judge early on whether others would react poorly to the message.

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