The ranking Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are calling on committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, to hold a congressional hearing into the actions of Montana U.S. District Court Judge Richard Cebull.
Cebull, the chief judge for the District of Montana, last month sent a racist and misogynistic email about President Barak Obama’s mother from his courthouse chambers using his official email address.
News of the incident sparked national outrage, with human rights and government watchdog groups circulating petitions demanding Cebull’s resignation.
Cebull apologized to the president and asked the 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals to review the incident, but many Democrats say Cebull, who was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2001, should voluntarily resign.
In a letter to Smith Tuesday ranking judiciary committee member John Conyers, Jr., D-Mich., and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., asked smith to allow the committee “to consider the full ramifications of Judge Cebull’s conduct on integrity of the federal judiciary” and to consider whether further action by the committee is warranted, “including further investigation or possible legislative action.”
“At minimum, forwarding this e-mail illustrates poor judgment and of conduct that was unbecoming of a federal judge,” the Democrats wrote. “The Committee has an obligation to consider the ramifications of the public disclosure of Judge Cebull’s conduct, particularly as long as he remains on the bench.”