Donald Trump has been criticizing the federal judge presiding over the Trump University fraud hearings for months. After his most recent comments blew up headlines, Trump first decided to continue his verbal assault on Judge Curiel, only to walk back that decision a day later.
Trumps’ comments drew condemnation from every corner of the Republican party.
In a statement published on his campaign website Tuesday, Trump wrote:
The American justice system relies on fair and impartial judges. All judges should be held to that standard. I do not feel that one’s heritage makes them incapable of being impartial, but, based on the rulings that I have received in the Trump University civil case, I feel justified in questioning whether I am receiving a fair trial.
One again, we’ll refer the reader to Pope Hat’s legal analysis on judge recusal located here.
Due to what I believe are unfair and mistaken rulings in this case and the Judge’s reported associations with certain professional organizations, questions were raised regarding the Obama appointed Judge’s impartiality. It is a fair question. I hope it is not the case.
While this lawsuit should have been dismissed, it is now scheduled for trial in November. I do not intend to comment on this matter any further. With all of the thousands of people who have given the courses such high marks and accolades, we will win this case!
To be clear (because many headlines are distorting his remarks), Trump is not apologizing nor is he walking back his comments, he’s simply saying he will comment no further.
According to the Wall Street Journal, in an interview, Trump suggested Judge Curiel’s Mexican heritage would prohibit the dispensation of unbiased justice:
In an interview, Mr. Trump said U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel had “an absolute conflict” in presiding over the litigation given that he was “of Mexican heritage” and a member of a Latino lawyers’ association. Mr. Trump said the background of the judge, who was born in Indiana to Mexican immigrants, was relevant because of his campaign stance against illegal immigration and his pledge to seal the southern U.S. border. “I’m building a wall. It’s an inherent conflict of interest,” Mr. Trump said.
I give it twenty-four hours.
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