A black female judge from Jefferson County, Alabama by the name of Nakita Blocton was removed from the bench. The decision came from a 9-judge panel that reviewed Blocton’s actions while on the job. Several complaints came from her colleagues including underlings, other judges, and lawyers. These complaints include (but most certainly are not limited to) online stalking, harassment, the usage of racial slurs including “uncle tom”, and also unnecessarily overworking her subordinates. Blocton presided over Birmingham’s domestic relations court.
Blocton’s behavior was clearly inappropriate for anyone to engage in at the workplace. The key element that makes her behavior worse is obviously the position of power that she holds. If she treats her colleagues in an unfavorable fashion then what chance does a regular person coming off the street have in a domestic case? This same question is central to the issue of firing or retaining Michelle Odinet from Lafayette, Louisiana. Odinet just so happens to be a white female with a similar (but much different) situation as Nakita Blocton.
Michelle Odinet was caught on what appears to be a cell phone video recording using the n-word repeatedly. She was describing a burglary suspect who was captured by her two sons. The man, who appears to be black, was allegedly attempting to break into her car and/or house. Odinet is now being accused of racism by many in the city including her colleagues. Even if she is not necessarily racist, there is the issue of trust. How can anyone trust Michelle Odinet to preside over any case featuring minorities, especially black people, considering the fact that she appeared to use the n-word effortlessly like it was part of her daily routine?
Both Michelle Odinet and Nakita Blocton are currently off the bench. Blocton appears to be permanently removed from her job while Odinet has been suspended. That suspension will most likely turn into a termination or resignation because of the inability of that trust factor to be repaired. These cases should not necessarily be viewed through the lens of race but of course, they will. However, the most important issue in both of these cases is not race, rather it is the actions that both women have taken. Their behavior on the bench and the end results of their cases matter the most. And at least in the case of Blocton, her cases are tainted and there isn’t much of a defense.
Alabama Judge Nakita Blocton removed from bench
Louisiana Judge Michelle Odinet Suspended for Using N-Word on Video
Nakita Blocton Loses Judgeship Over ‘Inappropriate Comments’
Judge Removed From Bench After Calling A Judge ‘Fat B*tch’ And Another Judge ‘Uncle Tom’ – Above the LawAbove the Law
Alabama judge is removed from the bench after calling colleagues names, complaint says | Daily Mail Online
Alabama Judge Removed from Bench After Findings of Abusive Language and Inappropriate Behavior | News | BET