6A - Tuesday, January 21, 2014
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Judge resigns after
emails reveal racist
bias in court issues
Hundreds of racist
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A
former Montana judge who was
investigated for forwarding a
racist email involving President
Barack Obama sent hundreds of
other inappropriate messages
from his federal email account,
according to the findings of a
judicial review panel released
Former U.S. District Judge
Richard Cebull sent emails to
personal and professional con-
tacts that showed disdain for
blacks, Indians, Hispanics,
women, certain religious faiths,
liberal political leaders, and
some emails contained inappro-
priate jokes about sexual ori-
entation, the Judicial Council
of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of
Many of the emails also relat-
ed to pending issues that could
have come before Cebull's court,
such as immigration, gun con-
trol, civil rights, health care and
environmental issues, the coun-
cil found in its March 15, 2013,
The investigation looked at
four years of Cebull's personal
correspondence sent from his
official email account. Investiga-
tors also reviewed his past cases
and interviewed witnesses.
The investigation found no
evidence of bias in Cebull's rul-
ings or sentences, and the wit-
nesses generally regarded him as
a "good and honest trial lawyer,
and an esteemed trial judge,"
according to the report.
The 9th Circuit council issued
Cebull a public reprimand;
ordered no new cases be assigned
to him for 180 days; ordered him
to complete training on judicial
ethics, racial awareness and
elimination of bias; and ordered
him to issue a second public
apology that would acknowledge
"the breadth of his behavior."
The panel said impeachment
was not warranted because
Cebull did not violate federal or
state law, though two of the judg-
es on the council said they would
have asked for his resignation.
But none of the sanctions took
effect and the findings did not
become public until Friday on
the order of a national judicial
Cebull announced his resigna-
tion March 29, two weeks after
the judicial council issued its
After Cebull retired May 3,
the 9th Circuit council vacated
its previous order and wrote a
new one calling the complaints
against Cebull "moot" because
of his retirement.
The panel also omitted details
from the original unpublished
order about the other emails
Cebull had sent.
That prompted Judge Theo-
dore McKee, the chief judge
of the 3rd U.S. Circuit, to file a
petition with the national Judi-
cial Conference's Committee on
Judicial Conduct and Disability,
asking the committee to review
the council's work and publish
the original March 15 order.
Judge McKee argued that the
9th Circuit council's subsequent
rulings inappropriately con-
cealed its original findings.
The 9th Circuit Council told
the national review panel in
response that it sought only
to disclose enough about the
investigation to ensure the pub-
lic knows the matter was taken
seriously, and it did not intend to
publish the original order.
The national committee ruled
that Cebull's retirement only
affected the sanctions, but the
factual findings and legal con-
clusions of the investigation
must still be published.
"The imperative of transpar-
ency of the complaint process
compels publication of orders
finding judicial misconduct," the
national judicial panel wrote in
A phone number listed under
Cebull's name was disconnected
Friday, and an after-hours phone
call to the U.S. District Court in
Billings went unanswered.
Elder Cal Murrell reacts to a speaker during the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church Monday in Atlanta. The
service at the church where King preached featured prayers, songs, music and speakers.
Civil rights leaders remember MLK
legvacy, discuss work left to be done
seeks to expand
on half century of
ATLANTA (AP) - As the
nation remembered and reflected
Monday on the legacy of the Rev.
Martin Luther King Jr., leaders
and everyday Americans talked
about how far the country has
come in the past 50 years and
how much more is to be done.
At Ebenezer Baptist Church
in King's hometown of Atlanta,
civil rights leaders and mem-
bers of King's own family spoke
about poverty, violence, health
care and voting rights, all themes
from the civil rights struggle that
still resonate to this day.
"There is much work that we
must do," King's daughter Ber-
nice King said. "Are we afraid,
or are we truly committed to the
work that must be done?"
The event in Atlanta featured
music, songs and choirs and was
one of many celebrations, march-
es, parades and community ser-
vice projects held Monday across
the nation to honor the slain civil
rights leader. It was about 50
years ago today that King had
just appeared on the cover of
Time magazine as its Man of the
Year, and the nation was on the
cusp of passing the Civil Rights
Act of 1964. King would win the
Nobel Peace Prize later that year.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said
not many states could boast a
native son that merited a national
holiday. "But we Georgians can,"
he told the audience.
Deal said this year he would
work with state legislators to find
a way to honor King at the Geor-
gia Capitol, which drew a stand-
ing ovation. He did not give any
specifics, but civil rights leaders
have suggested a statue. The only
current tribute to King at the
state Capitol is a portrait inside
"I think that more than just
saying kind thoughts about him
we ought to take action our-
selves," said Deal, a Republican.
"That's how we embed truth into
our words. I think it's time for
Georgia's leaders to follow in Dr.
King's footsteps and take action,
In the fall, a statue of 19th cen-
tury white supremacist politician
and newspaperman Tom Watson
was removed from the Capitol.
Deal also touched on criminal
justice reforms his administra-
tion has tried to make, including
drug and mental health courts,
saying too many people are not
being rehabilitated in prisons.
"Let's build a monument, but
the monument should inspire us
to build a better world," said the
Atlanta event's keynote speaker,
the Rev. Raphael Warnock. He
also said the growing dispari-
ties in income, opportunity and
health care are indications of a
continuing struggle for equality
decades after King's death.
The event closed with the
choir singing "We Shall Over-
come," with visitors singing
verses in Spanish, Hebrew and
Italian as audience members
joined hands and swayed in uni-
President Barack Obama hon-
ored King's legacy of service by
helping a soup kitchen prepare
its daily meals. Obama took his
wife, Michelle, and daughters
Malia and Sasha to DC Central
Kitchen, which is a few minutes
away from the White House.
New York City's new Mayor
Bill de Blasio marked the day by
talking about economic inequal-
ity, saying it was "closing doors
for hard-working people in this
city and all over this country."
"We have a city sadly divided
between those with opportunity,
with the means to fully partake
of that opportunity, and those
whose dreams of a better life are
being deferred again and again,"
he told an audience at the Brook-
lyn Academy of Music.
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Highlands 9 Konica..:
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60 Skid row affliction s
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31 Lowly laborers
martial arts actor
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in nautical lingo
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43 Exanse near
the Capitol, with
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45 Churlish types
46 Sales slip: Abbr.
47 "... _ saw Elba"
48 "Auld Lang._"
49 Tub toy
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51 _ ofWight
52 Eye sore
54 Last letter, in
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BEST OF ANN ARBOR 2014
conflict to be
topic in Davos
DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) -
Talks over the future of Syria
and Iran will occur on the side-
lines of the annual gathering for
political and financial elites in
the Swiss ski resort of Davos, the
founder of the World Economic
Forum said Monday.
Klaus Schwab said in an inter-
view with the Associated Press
that there will be crossover
between the forum's 2,500 par-
ticipants and the officials from
the U.S., Russia and close to 40
other countries that are attend-
ing the start of the Syria peace
conference several hours away in
Syria's main, Western-backed
opposition group agreed Monday
to attend this week's peace con-
ference only after threatening to
sit it out because of a last-minute
U.N. invitation for Iran to join in.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon was forced to withdraw
the invitation Monday because
the Syrian National Coalition
had objected to Iran's partici-
pation because it keeps "troops
and militias" in Syria and failed
to endorse a 2012 U.N.-brokered
roadmap to establish a transi-
But Iran will still be able to
interact at Davos with many of
the key players trying to end Syr-
ia's devastating civil war.
"Here you have some of the
true leaders with the influ-
ence on the region, so I am sure
the results will have an impact
Iran, Syria to enter
discussion at World
on our own discussions," said
Schwah, a German-horn econo-
mist and engineer who founded
the Davos forum in 1971. Since
then, the five-day gathering,
which attracts heads of state,
royalty and top executives, has
grown into a massive network-
ing event - what some consider
speed-dating for the political
and corporate elites.
Iranian leaders' presence
at Davos also coincides with
the implementation of the deal
agreed- to in Geneva that is
intended to rein in their nuclear
program in exchange for easing
sanctions, enabling Iran to pur-
sue new business opportunities
particularly in its oil and gas sec-
But Schwab said it would be
too early for Iranian President
Hassan Rouhani and his foreign
minister, Javad Zarif, to start
negotiating new investments
while at the forum. First, they
need to boost international trust
that Iran will respect the terms
of their nuclear deal.
"We have to create the real-
ity which allows confidence
between the different parties,
and only in the next phase you
can really talk about business,"
Schwab said of the Iranians'
prospects for new oil, gas and
other business deals.
Discussions on the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict are also
expected at the Davos forum,
with Israel's Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu, President
Shimon Peres and Justice Minis-
ter Tzipi Livni all attending. The
flagging Mideast peace process
is a priority for U.S. Secretary of
State John Kerry, who is expect-
ed in Davos for most of the event,
which lasts through Saturday.
c)2014 Tribune ContentAgency, L LC