Olivia Lockett, a 96-year-old judge who has served in Texas State for 50 years, has been suspended after being found guilty of misconduct. Lockett had been refusing to retire after reaching the age limit of 75 years.
The State Commission on Judicial Conduct, which received a complaint about Lockett refusing to retire, conducted an investigation that revealed that her actions had been in violation of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct. She was suspended for a period of six months.
Lockett was appointed to the bench in the 1950s and became a judge in the 1970s. In the 1990s, she extended her term limit by four years through a constitutional amendment. She was then re-elected in 2011, and again in 2015, after serving her state for 50 years.
Lockett had overcome many roadblocks before being appointed a judge. She was born to a politically active family in the 1920s, and she studied in segregated schools all her life. She then pursued law, despite facing a lot of racial discrimination.
In 2017, Lockett was slapped with a public warning after being accused of free speech violations. She had been accused of attacking a defense attorney during a hearing. Lockett denied the allegations, but she was still issued a caution.
Despite Lockett’s disappointment, many of her supporters have come out in her defense, citing her remarkable career as a judge. They argue that her suspension is an example of institutional racism in the judicial system. There have been calls for a full review of the suspension, and some are even advocating for her to get reinstated.
Lockett is a groundbreaking judge who has been a role model for many in the legal profession. Her suspension has been met with much criticism and is a reminder of the obstacles that still face the judiciary in the 21st century.