For Colorado District Judge Natalie Chase it was important to make the hard R heard. But now she's taking the big L, resigning after the state supreme court concluded an investigation into her courtroom shenanigans. Judge Chase regaled staff from the bench with All Lives Matter talk, debated the N-word with someone stuck in a car with her, had her clark perform personal tasks during work hours, and called one of the other judges a "fucking bitch". It all ended this week in public censure from the Colorado Supreme Court [PDF], which also accepted her resignation.
From its order:
On the way backfrom Pueblo, Judge Chase asked the Family Court Facilitator questions about why Black people can use the N-word but not white people, and whether it was different if the N-word is said with an "er"or an "a" at the end of the word. During the conversation, Judge Chase used the full N-word a number of times. The Family Court Facilitator was uncomfortable because she could not leave the car or leave the conversation. The Family Court Facilitator felt angry and hurt by the conversation. She has explained that Judge Chase's use of the full N-word was "like a stab through my heart each time." The Family Court Facilitator did not feel free to express her discomfort or emotions due to fear of retaliation by Judge Chase.
Other stunts pulled by the judge:
• Robed and at her bench, telling court staff during a break in a trial that she was boycotting the Super Bowl because NFL players were kneeling to protest police brutality directed against black people.
• Telling black staff discussing the George Floyd killing that "All Lives Matter."
• Having her law clerk perform legal research related to a personal family legal issue and proofread her personal emails.
• Have a court employee drive her to hospital and remain with her there after having refused an ambulance for her ailment. (Chase was paid a salary of more than $170,000 a year, according to public records)
• "Repeatedly" discussed personal and family matters in court "in a manner that was not dignified or courteous."
• Called another judge in the District a "fucking bitch" after a meeting with them.
This Court hereby publicly censures you, Judge Natalie T. Chase, for failing to maintain the high standards of judicial conduct required of a judge; for violating Canon Rule 1.2, which requires that a judge at all times shall act in a manner that promotes public confidence in the judiciary; for violating Canon Rule 2.3, which prohibits a judge from manifesting bias or prejudice based on race or ethnicity by her words or actions; for violating Canon Rule 1.3, which prohibits a judge from abusing the prestige of the judicial office; and for violating Canon Rule 2.8, which requires a judge to be patient, dignified,and courteous. Further, the Court accepts your resignation