Judge Steps Down After Declaring 'All Lives Matter'

Colorado's Natalie Chase earns rare public censure for opining on racial justice, using n-word on car ride
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2021 8:44 AM CDT
Judge to Step Down for Racial Slur, Declaring 'All Lives Matter'
Stock photo.   (Pexels/Sora Shimazaki)

It's exceedingly rare for a judge in Colorado to receive a public censure, but Natalie Chase just earned one, with behavior that's also now led to her leaving the bench. CBS4 reports that the Colorado Supreme Court has accepted the Arapahoe County district court judge's resignation, as well as put out a public rebuke of Chase, accused of a slew of actions that did not "maintain the high standards of judicial conduct required of a judge," according to the court's order. Among those actions, which Chase hasn't denied, per the Denver Post: offering her thoughts on racial justice issues while on the bench, using derogatory language to describe a fellow judge, asking staffers to take care of personal business for her, and repeatedly using the n-word during a car ride. During that trip to a training program, Chase, who's white, asked a Black family court facilitator in the car with her why white people aren't allowed to use the n-word but Black people can, according to court documents.

Per those documents, Chase also pressed the woman on whether it made a difference to use the racial slur with an "er" or an "a" at the end, reports the Denver Channel. The staffer noted she was "uncomfortable because she could not leave the car or leave the conversation," the document notes. Other incidents described by the court documents include Chase telling other staff—from the bench and while wearing her robes—that she'd be boycotting the Super Bowl because she didn't like NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality, as well as questioning Black employees about the Black Lives Matter movement and declaring "she believes all lives matter." Chase has apologized, noting she didn't mean any "racial animus" when she used the n-word, though she has conceded she shouldn't have. Her resignation takes effect at the end of next month. (More Colorado stories.)

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