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Donald Trump's Vile Attack on Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel

Trump calls the U.S.-born federal judge a "hater" and a "Mexican."

Credit: Todd KraninCredit: Todd KraninDonald Trump has attacked the federal judge presiding over the Trump University fraud trial as a "hater" and a "Mexican."

Trump's comments came during a recent campaign stop in San Diego. "It is a disgrace. It is a rigged system," Trump said about the class-action lawsuit currently unfolding against Trump University in federal court. "I have a judge who is a hater of Donald trump. He's a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel. And he is not doing the right thing." In fact, Trump told the crowd, Judge Curiel "happens to be, we believe, Mexican."

Trump also attacked the federal courts for allowing the civil suit against him to proceed in the first place. "I am getting railroaded by a legal system, and frankly they should be ashamed," Trump declared. "But we will come back in November. Wouldn't that be wild if I am president and come back and do a civil case?"

This is vile stuff. Not only is Trump peddling racist conspiracy garbage about a federal judge (Curiel was born and raised in Indiana), Trump is using the bully pulpit to try to intimidate the courts to rule in his favor. Just imagine, Trump effectively warned Judge Curiel, what will happen to you if you rule against me after I'm elected president.

To state the obvious, Trump is a bigoted authoritarian whose continued political success represents a very real threat to the rule of law in this country.

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  • WTF||

    Thank God we don't currently have a bigoted authoritarian whose Presidency has been a threat to the rule of law! Trump's success is a creation of Obama and the left.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Thank God we have a public education system that educates our citizens as to the true meaning of the Constitution and the rule of law!

    Because of the excellence of our public education system, the American electorate will never elect a presidential candidate who would ignore Constitutional constraints and the rule of law. We are forever safe authoritarians and tyrants in the home of the free and the land of the brave.

    If either Trump or Clinton wins, be sure to thank a teacher!

  • CatoTheChipper||

    safe = safe from

  • WTF||

    Oh, come on, it would be ungoodthinkful to mention a document created by slave-owning white men!

  • Libertarian||

    Thank god we have a legislative branch that knows its Constitutional duties to stand up to the executive branch, and that therefore we can elect a tyrant or a buffoon (or both) to the White House and know that it won't harm the country.

  • FreeSpeechMatters||

    This is true. Compared to Obama and Hillary Clinton, who routinely seek to restrict constitutional rights like free speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of association, the orange buffoon Trump is fairly harmless.

    Trump is far less hostile to free speech than Obama, whose administration is busy enforcing campus speech codes, and allowed political targeting by the IRS, or Hillary Clinton, who wants to restricts speech on the Internet, and wants to ban books critical of her, making overturning Supreme Court decisions allowing books critical of politicians during campaign season a litmus test for her nominees.

    Obama and Clinton have repeatedly attacked the Supreme Court, Obama doing so at a State of the Union where the justices were sitting in front of him in the audience and had to silently endure his false factual claims about their decisions, which have been debunked by the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler and others. Obama's and Clinton's political surrogates have also trashed the GOP justices as being motivated by their race and gender as white men.

    It's odd to see Damon Root criticize Trump for exercising his own free speech rights (even if intemperately), given all the real problems in the world. Trump is a narcissistic big mouth, but he holds grudges far less than Ms. Clinton does, and is far less dangerous to civil liberties than Hillary Clinton. As Reason's Robby Soave has noted, Clinton is a bigger free-speech hater than Obama.

  • Cytotoxic||

    "the orange buffoon Trump is fairly harmless"

    So what color is the sky in your world? Do you just plug put everything that Trump says down the memory hole?

  • Libertymike||

    What about Bill Weld, the other orange coiffed buffoon now on a presidential ticket?

  • Coradon||

    You make the claim that Trump is less harmful than Obama or Clinton when it comes to Constitutional right? In 8 years I've not seen Obama publicly state that he's going after a Constitutional right. That CANNOT be said of Trump. Trump has publicly and repeatedly stated his intent to attack multiple Amendments. For example his plan to attack the Freedom of Speech and religion in regards to reporters making claims he doesn't agree with while also stating his intent to shut down Mosques. Next we have his intention to negate the 4th Amendment by requiring Muslims to not only carry papers declaring their religious beliefs, but to also install cameras in Mosques to monitor what is being said. Next is the 5th Amendment and his plans to increase the use of eminent domain. Skip a few to reach the 14th Amendment and his intent to remove birth-rite citizenship. Yet you claim Trump is harmless?

  • DJF||

    """"represents a very real threat to the rule of law in this country."""

    We have rule of law in the USA? I thought we had rule of judges who make it up as they go along. If you don't believe me then as Supreme Court Judge Roberts about whether something is a fine or a tax.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Donald Trump has attacked the federal judge presiding over the Trump University fraud trial as a "hater" and a "Mexican."


    That's what you get for spending all weekend talking about holidays and conventions. Trump can't have that. That's no way to win world dominion.

  • The Grinch||

    There goes that Trump attacking the Mexican race again. Bigoted-sure, racist-nope.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    They are no more a race than Serbs or Greeks.

  • pronomian||

    "Thank God we have a public education system that educates our citizens as to the true meaning of" words.

  • John||

    Maybe the guy is hater. He is an Obama appointee and a former US Attorney. Its not like DOJ or the Obama administration has some wonderful record of integrity. Beyond that, just what does Root think Trump will do to a federal judge with lifetime tenure?

    As far as it being a "vile attack", it is nothing close to as bad as the attacks that liberals use on Clearance Thomas. That doesn't of course make it right. Right or wrong, however, I don't see any liberals walking back from the vile things they say about Thomas. So, I see no reason why liberal justices should be immune from enduring the same. If we want to have standards for these sorts of things, fine. Let every liberal who ever called Clearance Thomas an affirmative action baby and an Uncle Tom apologize for their vile attack and then I will happily demand the same from Trump. Until then, the standards are what they are so fuck off.

  • Just a thought not a sermon||

    John, you said it yourself. "That doesn't of course make it right."

    Who cares what liberals say about Clarence Thomas? Are you holding yourself to the liberals' standards, or to something better?

  • WTF||

    I don't want to speak for John, but I believe the point is it's okay to use the liberals own tactics against them.

  • John||

    What WTF said. Politics is a nasty business. If liberals want to set the bar this low, then they leave us no choice but to follow their lead. What good does it do to refuse to do so? Yeah makes you feel righteous and smug but it is never going to change their behavior and likely will encourage more of it since they know they can resort to such tactics without worry of them ever being used against them.

  • pan fried wylie||

    The Human Shield of discourse.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Here we have a perfect example of how conservatives 1) have no principles and 2) don't fight progs but merely emulate them.

  • R C Dean||

    Unilateral disarmament is a proven path to victory, eh, Ctyotoxic?

  • Azathoth!!||

    If the lieft is using my integrity as the weapon with which to kill me then of course I abandon it--because it is clearly not a workable integrity.

    I use whatever means because I know what I want is best, for everyone. How do I know this? Because what I want is for everyone to be able to do what THEY want--so long as they impose that on no one unwillingly. Therefore MY way is objectively best.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    You can start by actually quoting these liberals.

  • John||

  • John||

    Micheal, you are one of the dumbest human beings on earth and are in the running for the dumbest human being who ever lived.

  • SIV||

    Did Trump threaten woodchippers? Then who are we, as Reason commenters, to cast the first stone?

  • buybuydandavis||

    The first branch

  • Brochettaward||

    This country has a long and proud history of executive's weaponizing the bureaucracy. Trump is just another in a long line of great Top Men.

    My favorite is still when people act like you're a crazy conspiracy theorist if you suggest Obama used the IRS to go after political opponents. As if it's never been done before.

  • John||

    It was certainly done under Johnson and Saint Kennedy. Nixon is only notable for the IRS refusing to do it. It got better under Carter, Reagan and Bush I. But, the bureaucracy went haywire under Clinton and has only gotten worse.

    At this point, a Democratic President at least doesn't have to soil himself by ordering the bureaucracy to go after his enemies. The bureaucracy is filled with dedicated fanatics like Lois Lerner who know what to do without being told.

  • SIV||

    It's come to this. A formerly-libertarian magazine siding with the jackboot of the state against a private citizen exercising his right to to criticize the government.

  • Chip Woodier||

    Soon to come...articles about the libertarian points that Clinton has going for her.

  • Libertymike||

    Good point, SIV - although I LOLed when Trump was pushing Trump university. I'd have rather shelled out for a Tom Vu seminar.

  • Chipwooder||

    Tom Vu got some fine women at the Tom Vu Mansion, that's for sure.

  • Libertymike||

    Don't forget the boat.

    If you ever need a guy who can impersonate Tom Vu, this red-headed mic is your man.

  • Rhywun||

    OMG

    IMAKEALOTTAMONEY!!

  • Libertymike||

    My fend, you wanna make a lot of money en realstate? Then come to muh munney-makin semnar and I show you muh munney-makin tekneek.

  • Rhywun||

    I remember that being funny as hell even the few times I saw it in college not stoned.

  • Voros McCracken||

    Don't you dare besmirch the effectiveness of the Tom Vu system!

  • Ship of Theseus||

    Do you actually understand the events here? This is a class action lawsuit (citizens vs. citizen) with a judge merely in charge of the proceedings. This isn't about Trump being some poor soul being taken down by the State. Rather, this is a civil suit where Trump fucked over other people. Even Libertarians know you need some civil recourse. What's more, Trump is the one advocating wielding (potential) government power as a weapon.

  • Cytotoxic||

    He doesn't understand anything. SIV is one of the most fucktarded commenters around here.

  • JWW||

    You know who else wielded government power as a weapon?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Do you actually understand class action lawsuits?

    Surely the endless grievance mining on television has given you a clue, yes?

    This may not be anything more than a lawyer milking a fine payout from an amenable judge.

  • R C Dean||

    This is a class action lawsuit (citizens vs. citizen) with a judge merely in charge of the proceedings.

    Methinks you are unfamiliar with the dynamics of class-action lawsuits. They are generally constructed entirely by attorneys, who then recruit a few real people to serve as "class representatives".

    Whether this one really was brought, sua sponte, by actual people, or whether it was constructed purely by attorneys (and, perhaps, political operatives), I couldn't say. But most of them are the latter, not the former.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    None of which has anything to do with the judge that Trump went ape-shit over.

  • Brochettaward||

    Tech Giants Vow to Tackle Online Hate Speech Within 24 Hours

    “However, there is a clear distinction between freedom of expression and conduct that incites violence and hate.”

  • WTF||

    So, I guess being "hateful", however the fuck that's defined, is somehow not freedom of expression?

  • obijuan||

    The distinction is clear, comrade.

  • The Grinch||

    All right thinking people know that things that disagree with leftist dogma are, by definition, hate speech.

  • Rhywun||

    U.S. Internet giants Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc., Google and Microsoft Corp. pledged to tackle online hate speech in less than 24 hours as part of a joint commitment with the European Union to combat the use of social media by terrorists.

    Why do I get the feeling that Oskar Judenfeind in Austria is going to get hammered by this nonsense far sooner than, you know, terrorists?

    What does "hate speech" even have to do with terrorism?

  • obijuan||

    A defendent in a civil suit should be allowed to mouth off as much as they want, shouldn't they?

    I'm also not sure what being born and raised someplace is supposed prove. Many people on the left were born in the USA but we can all be forgiven for thinking they must have come from some other planet.

  • John||

    Isn't the reason party line that all Mexicans hate Trump? If that is so, why is it out of line for Trump to wonder if he can get a fair shake from a Mexican?

  • Ship of Theseus||

    Maybe because he's not a Mexican, you dipshit.

  • The_Liability||

    Ethnically Hispanic with ancestors from Mexico. If you're only a few generations removed from Mexico, you're still Mexican. That's why when you walk around during the world cup you see these people waving Mexican flags instead of American. There is nothing magical about this, they sympathize with their ancestral country of origin. Everyone does.

  • eyeroller||

    Trump is a bigoted authoritarian

    Are you implying something about Republican primary voters?

  • Horatio||

    They're just as hungry for a daddy to bring them goodies as Dems? (Yes)

  • Libertymike||

    How about some love for the Golden State Warriors?

    They are making basketball great again!

    They have the best people!

    They have the smartest people!

  • Libertarian||

    Trump loves the under-educated.

  • hocus_bogus||

    Beware the Illiterati!!!

  • Libertarian||

    GOP convention no-shows threaten to undercut Trump unity push

    http://www.foxnews.com/politic.....tcmp=hpbt2

    Trump may not know it (but maybe he does): he'll lead a much happier life if he does not attain the White House. He should be happy that the GOP isn't uniting behind him.

  • John||

    Trump figured out a long time ago that most people in this country don't like the Republican party and the best way to win the Presidency is to not be associated with it. So, this kind of stuff actually helps Trump.

  • Jerryskids||

    You know who else isn't associated with the Republican Party? Bill and Hillary Clinton. Barack Obama. Harry Reid. Bernie Sanders. Debbie Wasserman-Shultz. Barbara Boxer. Diane Feinstein. Joe Biden. Al Gore.

    You know who is associated with the Republican Party? THE FUCKING RETARDED CLOWN THAT'S THEIR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE.

  • John||


    THE FUCKING RETARDED CLOWN THAT'S THEIR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE.

    yes, but 2012 was four years ago. At some point you have to get over it Jersey.

  • pronomian||

    People are always bringing up romney.

  • Cytotoxic||

    This. Trump will bring so much discredit to the GOP, that I don't they will recover. There's no longer any point in taking them over at least at the federal level. Millenials and other growing demographics ie the future of America just aren't going to give them the time of day. Trump and his retard followers are truly God's gift to proggies and the DNC.

  • Lord at War||

    Trump will bring so much discredit to the GOP, that I don't they will recover.

    LOL!

    Cytotoxic knows his limitations... Not an gram of "think" in his body!

  • Cytotoxic||

    Is there anything that doesn't help Trump in your bizzaro-world?

  • John||

    The fact that about 45% of the country will vote D no matter what. Are you still claiming Trump has no chance and will lose in a landslide for sure?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Yup. He's gonna get buried.

    "The fact that about 45% of the country will vote D no matter what. "

    So...what?

  • R C Dean||

    Are you still claiming Trump has no chance and will lose in a landslide for sure?

    At what point do commenters here start making cash money bets on the outcome?

    Hillary may beat Trump, but I don't see her winning in a landslide, at least not at this point.

  • Shirley Knott||

    "Trump is a bigoted authoritarian whose continued political success represents a very real threat to the rule of law in this country"
    So, Hillary in a man's suit?

    There are no good people in politics. They are, each and every one of them, the bad guys. Who didn't know that?

  • Horatio||

    You people do understand that your Trump defense is exactly like libs screaming "Booooooooshhhhh!!!" right?

  • Jerryskids||

    Trump's comments came during a recent campaign stop in San Diego.

    I don't think that's correct - his comments didn't come during a campaign speech, they were his campaign speech. That's how a cult of personality works - an attack on Dear Leader is an attack on His Chosen People, and Dear Leader knows it. Trump wasn't whining and crying like a little bitch because the judge was attacking him, he was saying "look at how They is attacking you and the things you hold dear. Are you not angry at They? Should you not hate and fight back against They?"

    It's the same with all the "fake scandals" surrounding Trump - it's all just haters hating and screw those bastards.

  • John||

    Since when can you not whine and cry like a bitch at our robed overlords? Do you seriously think that judges should be above criticism? Does the bottom of this judge's boot taste that good?

  • Ship of Theseus||

    What exactly is the criticism, John? That he's presiding over the case at all? That's he's a shifty Mexican and can't be trusted?

  • John||

    That he is a political hack who isn't going to decide the case fairly. When you consider that he is a liberal Obama appointee, that is not an outrageous claim.

  • Horatio||

    Glad to have you parse "and we believe he's a Mexican" for us.

  • ||

    Trump is being VERY smart here, smarter than Root, I think. If he can goad the judge into saying or doing something which will force recusal, the suit is likely going to be delayed until after the election.

    I'm amazed that people that anything Trump says at face value.

  • mfckr||

    It's selective. They'll take Trump's statements at face value when it makes Trump look bad, but accuse him of lying when a statement might make him look good.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Oh God...the lack of awareness...

  • R C Dean||

    It must be painful.

    Is it, Cytotoxic? You can tell us.

  • pronomian||

    The suit won't be until after but aren't they releasing the documents now? Very convenient the docs are going public but the trial won't be until after the election. Maybe the docs seem more condemning than what the judge will think will actually happen in the trial. Smells like halibut.

  • simplybe||

    Would someone please donate enough money for me to leave this country if Trump and Clinton are the best this country has to offer for a leader. Just enough to get to some South American dictatorship where at least politicians was some honor left. No desire to be a millionaire. Being a peasant in say Ecuador will be fine. Never thought our country would come this; a crooked politician and a crooked businessman who were soulmates until a few months ago.

  • mfckr||

    Curious if there's actual video of Trump singling this judge out as "a Mexican" or if this is yet another lame narrative that's being ginned up.

    Like when Trump supposedly called all Mexicans rapists (which he didn't, if one actually watches a clip of the statement).

  • Free Society||

    Not only is Trump peddling racist conspiracy garbage about a federal judge

    Take a deep breath Damon. I think he called Ted Cruz the vile term "Canadian" once upon a time so we can rest assured he must hate white people too.

  • mfckr||

    Damon's just filling his daily quota of fanatical virtue signaling. Most Reason writers must operate under this mandate as a condition of employment.

  • Free Society||

    The virtue signalling seems to have gotten worse over the last couple years. I can't see why they hired Robby if not for his virtue signalling prowess.

  • Trigger Warning||

    The fabulosity of his hair?

  • simplybe||

    The only difference between Trump and Hillary is I suspect she has a bigger set of balls.

  • Trigger Warning||

    And hands.

  • pronomian||

    and ankles

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Good stuff, but it would be equally true if the judge were not "born and raised in Indiana". Immigrants can make excellent judges (or anything else).

  • mfckr||

    It's not inconceivable that someone's ethnicity or place of birth could potentially bias their capability to render neutral impartial judgment given the circumstances of a particular case.

    But many Libertarians don't seem terribly adept at Theory of Mind, so maybe you're naive to this sort of thing.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    Yeah, we should ban Californians from being judges, because they're all hippie fucks. And Southerners too. Inbred fucks. Probably all New Yorkers. Elitist Fucks. And Definitely no Hawaiians. I mean, Barack Obama, amirite?

  • mfckr||

    Never said anything about banning judges.

  • pronomian||

    But he does make a good point, it is a good start.

  • pronomian||

    Are you saying indiana has an immigration problem?

  • JWW||

    And since Trump is this bad, I should vote for Hillary who will make it illegal to criticize her (or any Democrat) AND confiscate my guns.

    No thanks.

    Again I say. In 2016 Libertarians got effing routed by the authoritarians.

  • mfckr||

  • The Grinch||

    It was an excellent analysis and he's correct. Compromising values to appear respectable and to court non libertarian votes will lead to cooption. Better to effectively sell the message.

  • Cytotoxic||

    But neither McCafee nor the LP have been remotely successful in selling the message. As a matter of fact, parties are not a remotely appropriate primary vehicle for selling messages-that's what movements are for. The LP absolutely should stop being so doctrinaire and emulate successful classical liberal parties in Costa Rica and the like.

  • Trigger Warning||

    I have it on good authority that Indiana is a deeper and more corrupt shithole than Mexico. Just sayin'.

  • Ron||

    You really need to learn what the word "Vile" means, shit at least he didn't call him a Nazi. When you cry wolf to often Reason people will no longer listen or in this case read.

  • R C Dean||

    "It is a disgrace. It is a rigged system," Trump said about the class-action lawsuit currently unfolding against Trump University in federal court.

    Seems fair enough so far. Litigation in general, and class action suits, are a national disgrace.

    "I have a judge who is a hater of Donald trump. He's a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel. And he is not doing the right thing."

    I'm still looking for something objectionable. There are a lot of Trump-haters out there, and the odds of finding one in the general socio-economic class that populates the federal bench are probably pretty high.

    In fact, Trump told the crowd, Judge Curiel "happens to be, we believe, Mexican."

    This seems gratuitous, but, given the anti-Trump frenzy that La Raza symps have drummed up in many Latino communities, not, perhaps, entirely so. Sad, but when large swathes of society sink into collectivism, being a member of one of the identified collectives can matter, whether it should or not. Is this judge a lefty open-borders anti-Trumper? I have no clue. And, what matters more, perhaps, is neither does the author.

    Naturally, the article doesn't really say why Trump might be upset with the judge. It could be entirely justified, you know.

  • mfckr||

    So, it turns out Judge Curiel is a member of La Raza.

    And the law firm suing Trump Univ has given $675,000 to Hillary Clinton for 'speeches'.

    Yeah, no conflict of interest here, right?

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