Donald Trump said that the federal judge presiding over a lawsuit brought by former Trump University students has an "absolute conflict" in handling the case because he is "of Mexican heritage." The presumptive Republican presidential nominee told The Wall Street Journal, in an interview in Friday's edition, that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel has "an inherent conflict of interest" because Trump is "building a wall," a reference to Trump's proposal to build a wall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Late Tuesday, Curiel ordered some released documents to be resealed and resubmitted with sections blacked-out. "The fact that Donald Trump doesn't see Judge Curiel and his family as Americans makes him unfit to be president of this great nation, a nation of immigrants," Praeli said in a statement.
This essay is part of a series The New Yorker will be running through the election titled "Trump and the Truth." The deliberate confusion of ethnicity for nationality is one of the most casually cruel rhetorical devices available in this country. It's a lie that, in being told, makes itself partly true. If, for instance, a national politician refers to a Mexican-American as a Mexican, in an attempt to discredit him, then a portion of that person's American-ness, as it is understood by some portion of his countrymen, degrades. This is, of course, precisely what Donald Trump did to the United States District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel over the summer, when he repeatedly cited the Indiana-born Curiel's identity as a "Mexican" as evidence that Curiel could not be impartial in the California class-action lawsuit against Trump University.
A group of Latino lawyers and judges in San Diego condemned as racist Donald Trump's attacks on a federal judge. The U.S. District Court judge, Gonzalo Curiel, is a member of the group, San Diego La Raza Lawyers Assn. But he was unaware the association was releasing the statement accusing Trump of "abject impropriety" in attacking Curiel, its president, Luis Osuna, said Wednesday. "The comments made by Trump have been misleading, blatant lies and even racist in nature," the statement said. The Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting has called for Curiel to recuse himself from presiding over a San Diego fraud suit against Trump University, his defunct real estate school.
After calling Judge Gonzalo Curiel a "hater of Donald Trump" and a "total disgrace" last week at his San Diego rally, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee hit the judge again Thursday, saying Judge Curiel presiding over the Trump University fraud case was in "absolute conflict" owing to his "Mexican heritage". In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump insisted that the U. S. District Judge's background was important, considering Trump's campaign speaks against illegal immigration and building a wall along the U. S.–Mexico border. It's an inherent conflict of interest," Trump said. Curiel was born in Indiana to parents who hail from Mexico. In the interview, Trump also pointed out that the judge was a former colleague of one of the Trump University plaintiffs' lawyers, Jason Forge.