A group of American Indians wants a court to preserve and eventually release an investigative file containing inappropriate emails sent by a federal judge, including a racist message involving President Barack Obama.
Plaintiffs include Indian advocacy groups from Montana and South Dakota and a member of the Crow tribe.
Their attorney, Lawrence Organ, said Wednesday the contents of the emails will show if Chief District Judge Richard Cebull made biased decisions from the bench in cases.
Cebull was investigated for forwarding a racist email involving Obama. A judicial review panel found he sent hundreds of emails from his federal account that showed disdain for blacks, Indians, Hispanics, women, certain religions and others. He was publicly reprimanded and retired.
However, a judicial investigation found no evidence of bias in his rulings.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has said its file on Cebull is confidential.