NC judge sues state body targeting her for biased comments

North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls, the only black woman on the court, filed a federal lawsuit legal action This week a state commission accused her of violating her freedom of expression after speaking out about racial prejudice in the state’s justice system.

Earl’s lawsuit against the North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission, filed on Tuesday, alleges that the panel tried to silence her with “a series of months-long intrusive investigations” in retaliation for a June interview in which she accused the lack of diversity of the court and the effects It has to do with the procedure.

The lawsuit dismisses allegations by the commission that Earls, who has been on trial since 2019, may have broken court rules that require her to “act in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.” As she said, she believes that “public confidence in the judiciary is at risk when the court system does not reflect the population it serves.”

North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls has been criticized for speaking out about bias and a lack of diversity in the state's judicial system.
North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls has been criticized for speaking out about bias and a lack of diversity in the state’s judicial system.

In her June Comments on Law360, a legal subscription news service, Earls pointed out what she believes is “implicit bias” among her peers on the state’s Supreme Court, which has a new Conservative majority. She pointed out that few black paralegals were hired, that a black trial attorney was “unfairly attacked” by her fellow judges, that racial justice training for the court was halted, and that a commission investigating racial and gender inequality in the United States was dissolved State’s judicial system examined.

Earls’ attorneys argued that in her interview she “attempted to indicate that she is not claiming that all of this is deliberate, intentional racial hatred” but that “our court system, like any other court system, is fabricated.” ‘ of people, and I believe research shows that we all have implicit biases.'”

The lawsuit also notes that Earls has never accused her colleagues of making biased decisions in the cases before them.

The investigative notice sent to her by the commission, as well as previous investigations into her comments, “resulted in a limitation of her First Amendment rights,” her lawsuit says, as she was forced to turn down other opportunities to speak and write investigations by the commission.

The commission said in a statement to The News & Observer, a North Carolina regional newspaper based in Raleigh, that it will do so don’t comment about pending litigation.

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