The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says it will conduct a judicial misconduct review against a Montana judge who sent a racist email involving President Barack Obama's mother.

Appellate Court executive Cathy Catterson said in a statement Thursday that Judge Richard Cebull (SEE'-bul) initiated the process himself for a misconduct complaint to be filed against him.

Catterson says the Judicial Council of the 9th Circuit will lead the investigation.

Cebull on Wednesday admitted that he forwarded the email to six friends, but said he did so because he disliked Obama, not from racism.

News of the email has prompted calls for Cebull's resignation.

U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg's spokesman says the judge told the Montana Republican that he plans to send Obama a formal apology.