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Neither a gentleman nor a scholar


Donald Trump continues to be very unhappy about the terrible travesty of justice in the biased, unfair, and totally unjustified lawsuits against his now-defunct "Trump University" real-estate seminar scam. In a Wall Street Journal interview published Thursday, Trump continued to attack the federal judge presiding over one of the three cases, Gonzalo Curiel. As teevee detective Columbo would say, though, there's just one little thing that bothers us about Trump's constant griping about Judge Curiel: If Trump's being treated so unfairly, why hasn't he told his lawyers to request a different judge?

In Thursday's WSJ interview, Trump ramped up his attacks on Judge Curiel to a new level of implausible dickishness, claiming that 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.

Somehow, we're not sure anyone outside a Trump rally would be convinced that a judge's ethnicity automatically made them hopelessly biased. We can only imagine what Trump would say if a minority defendant claimed they couldn't possibly get fair treatment from an Anglo judge. Wouldn't that be political correctness run amok? Ah, but now Trump has another straw to grasp at!

The New York businessman also alleged the judge was a former colleague and friend of one of the Trump University plaintiffs’ lawyers. The judge and the lawyer once worked together as federal prosecutors, but the lawyer, Jason Forge, in an interview said he had never seen the judge socially.

“Neither Judge Curiel’s ethnicity nor the fact that we crossed paths as prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office well over a decade ago is to blame” for Mr. Trump’s actions, said Mr. Forge.

Well, it was worth a try, maybe. Donald Trump considers everyone he meets a friend, at least if he remembers meeting them, which varies depending on his mood when you ask him.

But here's the fun part of the WSJ article about the interview, down in the tenth paragraph:

Ronald Rotunda, a professor at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, Calif., noted that whatever Mr. Trump’s grievances, his lawyers haven’t filed any motion asking for the case to be reassigned to a different judge. If Mr. Trump has a problem with the judge, “that’s the legitimate way” to register a complaint, he said.

[wonkbar]<a href="http://wonkette.com/602439/employees-of-trump-university-say-it-was-high-pressure-sales-scam-whaaaaaat"></a>[/wonkbar]Huh! Why, you'd almost think Trump was more interested in making an issue of Curiel's ethnicity as a distraction from his legal troubles, not because he's really being treated unfairly! That would be a very cynical thing to do, but Trump just might be capable of it. He knows that simply mentioning Curiel's name in a speech can get the audience to boo, because "Gonzalo Curiel" is such a scary foreign name, and that his followers can be relied upon to be shocked when he complains about "the judge, who happens to be, we believe Mexican..." Also, we have to add that "Ronald Rotunda" is a great name for a law professor, especially if he works anywhere near a dome.

The WSJ did at least ask Trump about whether he planned to request a new judge, which apparently hadn't occurred to him as a thing that's even possible:

Mr. Trump in the interview said that he may do so. Other judges, he said, would have thrown out the plaintiffs’ case against the school, he said.

Again, that seems a tad unlikely, considering that in addition to the lawsuit in Judge Curiel's court, Trump faces a second fraud lawsuit in California and a New York civil case brought against him by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Neither of those suits, presided over by judges who are not Gonzalo Curiel, has been thrown out. As of yet, Trump has not figured out how to prove the other two judges' ethnic backgrounds makes them unfit.

The WSJ did some checking up with legal experts who didn't seem to buy Trump's assertion that no one of Mexican heritage could possibly be fair to a member of the loudmouthed bigots running for president community:

University of Pennsylvania law professor Stephen Burbank said it was “absolute nonsense” that the judge shouldn’t be able to preside over the case because of his ethnicity.

“If this continues, I would hope that some prominent federal judges would set Mr. Trump straight on what’s appropriate and what’s not in our democracy,” Mr. Burbank said.

Depends. Who appointed the federal judges who might say that? Donald Trump has disagreed with (and enthusiastically supported) every president since Ronald Reagan, so it would be hard to find an unbiased judge. Probably best simply to never allow any judge to disagree with Donald Trump.

For all of Trump's complaints about Curiel being "Mexican," the judge was actually born in Indiana to parents who immigrated from Mexico; as of yet, none of the plaintiffs has argued that Trump's endorsement by former Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight might lead Judge Curiel to favor Trump due to his Hoosier heritage.

[WSJ]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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