Racial slurs and secrecy: Colorado judge’s rare public censure highlights challenges in the courts

The Denver Post: A couple years ago, a 16-year-old Black boy went to a party attended by mostly white kids in Cherry Creek, and one of those white kids used a racial slur.

A fight ensued, and the Black teenager was arrested on assault charges.

The juvenile criminal case then went before 18th Judicial District Court Judge Natalie Chase — the judge who last month was publicly censured by the Colorado Supreme Court, and agreed to resign, in part because she questioned a Black court employee about why white people couldn’t use that same racial slur.

The circumstances of the family court judge’s censure and resignation — and other emerging complaints about her time on the bench — present a microcosm of the larger issues now facing Colorado’s court system, from growing calls for reform and racial justice, to the lack of diversity among the state’s judges, to the largely secret system the state uses to discipline judges for violating ethical or professional rules.

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