Judge Richard Cebull needs to resign

I read the apology that Montana's Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull sent to President Barack Obama and his Obama family. In the matter of the emailed "joke" were the deeply insulting, racist, sexist references to Obama and his mother, which Cebull had forwarded to six buddies.

Is the judge kidding? He does not characterize the content but only apologizes "sincerely and profusely" for having sent it onward. He noted that he has invited a judicial council review, then said he honestly doesn't know what else he can do.

Hah. He can resign. He should have done so already.

He said he's not racist, but that the email was racist and that he only sent it because he doesn't like Obama politically.

That crude email did not refer to the president's policies. Further, any judge knows he must avoid even the appearance of impropriety and is bound to higher standards of speech than are ordinary citizens.

After the email reached the press, the judge first tried out a shopworn and non-apologetic formula, offering understanding "if some people were offended."

Which American should not be offended? I was offended for my country that this reckless judge sits on any bench. He rips open yet again the scar tissue of American misogyny and racism, then cannot think of what else to do now that he has done that and sent an "apology" that sounds like he regrets sending some pile of paperwork to the wrong office.

How have this man's attitudes figured into his judicial dealings? Surely his behavior has now triggered what will be a massive review of his cases.

Judge Cebull should just resign for being a narcissistic dunce if he lacks the grace to resign for having been so thoughtless of public trust in our judiciary.

Elizabeth Ramsey


Free speech is only there when allowed

The First Amendment to the Constitution gives us the right to free speech. If Joseph Stalin had allowed the prisoners in the Gulags to speak as they saw fit on the political institution, would that have been free speech?

Free speech can only take place when the ability of the speaker and intended audience is enabled.

In our society the fourth estate has acted as a watchdog on the judiciary and our elected officials.

We have seen recently where video reporters have been arrested, Josh Fox, and assaulted, Lisa Barr. The first occurred in Washington, D.C., and the second at the Oneonta Town Board meeting of Jan. 25.

For the freedoms that we value, we must ensure that the media can shine the light of truth on government. The courts and the police have an obligation to the citizenry of Oneonta to see that justice is done for the protection of free speech.

It behooves the media to take an interest in this case, for as in Nazi Germany, one-by-one the voices of the media were silenced until there was no dissent.

Clark Rhoades


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