According to The Denver Post, a judge in Colorado’s largest judicial district will resign. It was reported that the Colorado Supreme Court on Friday censured 18th Judicial District Court Judge Natalie Chase for using a racial slur, employing derogatory language to speak about another judge, and espousing opinions about racial justice from the bench, and directing court employees to work on her personal business.
A six-page order was provided as a part of the Colorado Commission on Judicial Discipline’s investigation of various incidents. It revealed that in late January or early February 2020, Chase had court employees in her car to and from Pueblo, Colorado, after attending an event. Upon returning from Pueblo, Judge Chase, who is white, asked the Black Family Court Facilitator why Black people can use the N-word but not white people. The order also said that she asked whether it was different if the N-word is said with an “er” or an “a” at the end of the word. Judge Chase used the full N-word a number of times, during this conversation. It was also said that the Family Court Facilitator was uncomfortable, angry, and hurt. She remarked that Judge Chase’s use of the full N-word was “like a stab through my heart each time.”
The order also said that in an early February 2020 incident, Judge Chase was in the courtroom with two Black employees, when someone brought up watching the Super Bowl. Judge Chase stated from the bench that “she would be boycotting the Super Bowl because she objected to the NFL players who were kneeling during the National Anthem in protest of police brutality against Black people.”
Another incident in the order referenced remarks Judge Chase made on the Monday after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis. Black Lives Matter protests later occurred in Denver. While wearing her robe and sitting on the bench, Judge Chase told the employees some of her opinions regarding racial justice issues. She also asked an employee some questions about the Black Lives Matter movement.
“The employee tried to explain the Black Lives Matter movement, and Judge Chase stated that she believes all lives matter. Judge Chase also stated that the conduct of the police officers in the George Floyd matter should be investigated,” the order said.
The Colorado Supreme Court asked Judge Chase to step down, after saying that Judge Chase violated four judicial rules, and she did not maintain the high standards of judicial conduct required of a judge. As required, she did not “at all times shall act in a manner that promotes public confidence in the judiciary.”
The New York Daily News reported that Chase has been in her position since July 2014, and will officially resign on May 31.