A judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, who gained notoriety earlier this year after sending a racially charged email about President Barack Obama, will take senior status next year, according to a post by the U.S. Courts website.
Judge Richard Cebull, who is the subject of a misconduct review by Judicial Council of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for the email, will take senior status in March 2013. Cebull later apologized to the president. The review is still ongoing.
The move to senior status would allow Cebull to vacate his seat while still hearing some cases.
A top official with People for the American Way expressed outrage that Cebull will be remaining a judge. In a written statement, the organization's president, Michael Keegan, called on Cebull to retire or resign in lieu of taking senior status.
"Americans expect the courts to be fair, impartial, and open to all," Keegan said. "Cebull clearly demonstrated that he does not have the temperament to serve as a federal judge, period."
Cebull did not immediately respond to a request for comment.