Published on: Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Colorado District Judge Natalie Chase has resigned after she admitted using a racial slur in front of court employees, used the n-word in a conversation with a Black colleague, referred to another judge as a “f****** b****,” and asked employees to do personal tasks for her during work hours (article available here). The Supreme Court of Colorado publicly censured her and accepted her resignation.

According to the order, "(She) asked the (court employee) 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." This distressed the Family Court Facilitator. "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 order states while Chase maintained she "did not intend any racial animus," she acknowledged that her "use of the N-word does not promote public confidence in the judiciary and creates the appearance of impropriety." Chase acknowledged she "undermined confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary by expressing (her) views about criminal justice, police brutality, race and racial bias, specifically while wearing (her) robe in court staff work areas and from the bench."

Chase was appointed to the District Court on July 1, 2014. The judge's resignation is effective May 31, 2021.