Judge Claudette White, an ASU Law 2005 JD alumnus who tragically passed away February 6, 2021, was a well-known figure in Indian Country due to her quick wit, warm smile and dedication to Indian law and justice. She was a member of the Quechan Tribal Council and former chief justice for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. She gained much-deserved recognition after being featured in the 2017 PBS film documentary “Tribal Justice.” The documentary featured the work she did to reduce incarceration and improve community safety. Judge White dedicated her life to finding ways to give back to the community, students and Indian Country. Most recently, Judge White performed with the Quechan Lightning Singers to open the inauguration events of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Judge White thanked President Biden and Vice President Harris “…for their commitment to upholding the U.S. trust responsibility to tribal nations and our sacred lands, with the promise to restore lands, and protect the natural cultural resources within them.” The first in her family to attend college, Judge White earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Northern Arizona University and her JD from ASU Law.
ASU Law honors her life’s work through the creation of the Judge Claudette White Memorial Fellowship
To honor her legacy of passionate advocacy, ASU Law is establishing the Judge Claudette White Memorial Fellowship. In recognition of Judge White dedicating much of her life to criminal justice reform in tribal courts, this fellowship will support and encourage students to work in tribal courts, continuing her life’s work. A gift of support to this memorial fund commemorates the unfailing dedication of Judge White and ensures her memory will endure for generations. If you would like to make a contribution greater than $1,000 please contact Hallie.Rexer@asu.edu.
Judge White’s kindness, laughter and friendship will be missed by all.