|Current Court Information:|
|United States District Court for the District of Montana|
|Appointed by:||George W. Bush|
|Senior:||3/18/2013 - 5/3/2013|
|Preceded by:||Jack Shanstrom|
|Home State:||Billings, MT|
|Undergraduate:||Montana State U., B.S., 1966|
|Law School:||U. of Montana Law School, J.D., 1969|
Richard F. Cebull was an Article III federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of Montana. He joined the court in 2001 after being nominated by President George W. Bush. He served as the court's Chief Judge from 2008 to March 18, 2013 and as a senior judge from March 18, 2013 to May 3, 2013.
Early life and education
A Montana native, Cebull graduated from Montana State University with his bachelor's degree in 1966 and later graduated from the University of Montana Law School with his Juris Doctor degree in 1969.
District of Montana
Cebull started his career as a federal magistrate judge for the District of Montana in 1998 as the judge was appointed to a full eight year term. Judge Cebull served on the bench for three years until his nomination to an Article III judgeship in 2001.
On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Conrad Burns, Cebull was nominated by President George W. Bush on May 17, 2001 to a seat vacated by Jack Shanstrom as Shanstrom assumed senior status. Cebull was confirmed by the Senate on July 20, 2001 on a unopposed 93-0-7 vote and received commission on July 25, 2001. Cebull served as the chief judge from 2008 until March 18, 2013, when he took on senior status. Cebull fully retired from the court on May 3, 2013.
USA v. Travis Henry (2009)
*USA v. Travis Henry CR-08-123-BLG-RFC
Judge Cebull presided in the drug case of former Denver Bronco running back Travis Henry. Henry and co-defendant James Mack of Bow Mar, CO were arrested in October of 2008 after authorities in Montana found six pounds of marijuana and about 6.6 pounds of cocaine that the pair allegedly had supplied.
The United States Attorney for the District of Montana said in its complaint that Henry trafficked cocaine between Colorado and Montana,and one of his associates had delivered six pounds of cocaine to Billings, MT on previous occasions.
On April 15, 2009, Henry agreed with the Montana U.S. Attorney's Office to a plea agreement. The plea deal allowed the former NFL player to plead guilty to a single cocaine conspiracy charge in exchange for two other charges being dropped.On July 16, 2009, Judge Cebull sentenced Travis Henry to three years in federal prison. Cebull also ordered him to undergo drug rehabilitation and ordered five years probation. If Henry completes his rehabilitation successfully, Judge Cebull will reduce his sentence by one year.
In March 2012, Richard Cebull, the chief judge for the United States District Court for the District of Montana, called for a probe on himself after he forwarded a racist email aimed against President Barack Obama from his office email account. Cebull, a George W. Bush appointee and graduate of Montana State University and the University of Montana Law School, has been the chief judge of the district since 2008 and prior to appointment, served as a magistrate for the court. Cebull denies that he is racist and argues that the email was forwarded as a political message against Obama. He told the press, "To say it's inappropriate and stupid is an extreme understatement. There is no doubt it's racist. It wasn't forwarded for that purpose. If anything, it was political." The forwarded message read:
"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!'"
Cebull has apologized and begun the process for filing a judicial complaint against himself. Appellate Court executive Cathy Catterson told the press, "Cebull has publicly acknowledged that he has acted inappropriately. Judge Cebull has initiated the process by which a complaint of judicial misconduct will be brought against him. The Judicial Council is expected to act expeditiously in investigating and resolving this matter." While it is difficult to remove a federal judge from office, some groups have called for Cebull's resignation. Bob Edgar, president and CEO of Common Cause told the press, "If he has any respect for his office and for ideals of equality and human dignity on which our country was founded, Judge Cebull will step down today. The message he has acknowledged circulating demonstrates a lack of judicial temperament that ought to disqualify him from further service." The judicial council will investigate the matter and rule on the conduct of the judge.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Judge Cebull Biography from the Federal Judicial Center
- ↑ United States Courts for the Ninth Circuit, Press Release: "Statement by Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit," April 2, 2013
- ↑ The Washington Post, "Judge who forwarded racist Obama joke retires," April 3, 2013
- ↑ "THOMAS" Confirmation of Richard Cebull, February 9, 2009
- ↑ U.S. Courts Current Vacancies
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 USA Today, "Former Broncos RB Travis Henry to plead guilty to drug charge," April 4, 2009
- ↑ Denver Post, "Ex-NFL player gets 3 years in cocaine case," July 15, 2009
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 CNN, "Judge asks for probe after sending racist Obama e-mail," March 2, 2012
|Federal judicial offices|
|District of Montana
|Magistrate judges||Keith Strong • Carolyn Ostby • Jerry Lynch •|
|Former Article III judges||
William Henry Hunt • Paul Hatfield • Hiram Knowles • George Bourquin • Carl Rasch • Richard Cebull • Charles Nelson Pray • James Harris Baldwin • James Battin • William Jameson • William Murray • Russell Smith • Robert Lewis Brown •
|Former Chief judges|