One of the worst moments for President Donald Trump during the campaign was not the audio in which the candidate seemingly confessed to committing sexual assault, but rather a comment he made about the judge in the Trump University fraud case. Judge Gonzalo Curiel will hear the case of a young man protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program who was deported in February, as we reported.
From USA Today:
Curiel’s assignment to the case was completely coincidental, according to rules for the Southern District of California. Kari Hong, an assistant professor at Boston College Law School who used to be an attorney in California, said judges are selected based on a rotating schedule. The court sets up a list of available judges and they are assigned each case as they come in.
Hong said judges regularly recuse themselves from cases if there is a conflict of interest, the appearance of a conflict of interest or if the judge has a financial stake in the outcome of the case. She said it’s highly unlikely Curiel would recuse himself based solely on the derogatory comments Trump made about him.
In May of 2016, Trump said that Judge Curiel was a “hater” and pointed out that “we believe” he is “Mexican” sarcastically adding “which is great.” A month later, he made the claim again saying that Curiel, a citizen of the United States, was unfit because his “Mexican heritage” made him biased against Trump. (Ironically, Curiel’s rulings and decisions actually favored Trump.)
This led to Senator Tim Scott and Sen. Mark Kirk (who has his own problems with racist comments) to un-endorse Trump. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan didn’t un-endorse the now-president, but did say his comments were “textbook racist.”
With President Trump’s fascination with the political press and his inability to not comment publicly on things he finds unflattering, it’s possible that he may tweet about Curiel or comment on this case some other way. Something that the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security likely dread most of all.
What do you think? Will Trump comment on the judge’s appointment to this case? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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