UPDATE March 1 3:30 p.m.
According to the Associated Press, "an appellate court will conduct a judicial misconduct review of Montana's chief federal judge who sent an email to friends that contained a racist joke involving bestiality and President Barack Obama's mother."
Judge Richard Cebull also said he plans to send Obama a formal apology.
ORIGINAL POST March 1 9:00 a.m.
The chief federal judge of Montana has admitted to sending an email that contained a joke involving bestiality and President Barack Obama's mother, but insists that he's not a racist. The email was sent from the justice's courthouse chambers.
The Great Falls Tribune reports that Judge Richard Cebull of Billings sent the email to six people on Feb. 20. The email began: "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."
Here is the controversial text:
"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 acknowledged to the Tribune that the content of the email is racist but insisted that he is not racist himself.
Cebull was nominated by President George W. Bush and has served as chief judge of the District of Montana since 2008.