By Susan Chang
AsAmNews Staff Writer
In an interview with Face the Nation host John Dickerson earlier this week, presidential candidate Donald Trump added Muslims to his list of judges who he thinks would be biased against him.
It was at his rally in San Diego where Trump started his list, with Mexican American judges at the top of the list. There, Trump taunted Gonzalo Curiel, a federal judge presiding over the recent Trump University case, on his Mexican American background.
On Sunday, after Trump’s usual lambasting of Clinton, Dickerson tried to understand Trump’s reasoning for blaming Curiel’s Mexican parentage for the judge’s potential bias against Trump. Like much of Trump’s arguments, his reasoning here made no sense.
In essence, Trump said that because the court case is not going his way, that the judge must be biased against him because of his Mexican heritage. “He’s a member of a club or society, very strongly pro-Mexican … but I say he’s got bias. I’m gonna build a wall. I’m gonna build a wall,” Trump said.
When asked if a Muslim judge would judge him unfairly because of his anti-Muslim policy, Trump responds, “It’s possible, yes, yeah. It would be possible. Absolutely.” Way to go, Trump, sticking to your usual, incendiary, racist hypocrisies.
Science fiction writer William Gibson points out Trump’s hypocrisy on Twitter on Sunday, tweeting “So would Trump agree that he himself would be unfit, were he a judge, to preside over cases with Muslim or “Mexican” defendants?”
So would Trump agree that he himself would be unfit, were he a judge,
to preside over cases with Muslim or "Mexican" defendants?
— William Gibson (@GreatDismal) June 5, 2016
Even GOP staffer Brian Walsh condemns Trump’s responses in the interview.
Of course, America is no stranger to questioning the impartiality of judges based on their race, ethnicity, or religion. Aside from the questioning of Sonia Sotomayor’s impartiality as a Justice of the Supreme Court, there was the case of MacDraw Inc. vs CIT Equipment Financing, where the presiding judge was accused of partiality due in part to his Asian American background. Attorneys Larry Klayman and Orfanedes, representing MacDraw Inc., wrote a letter to Judge Denny Chin of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit questioning Chin’s involvement with another case “which mentions [Judge Chin’s] name in the context of other prominent Asian American appointees of the Clinton Administration.” Attached to the letter were newspaper articles discussing the Democratic Party’s courting of Asian American voters, including appointing Asian Americans to high-profile positions. Other attached articles include reports of a political controversy surrounding a Mr. John Huang making campaign contributions to the Democratic Party, as well as reports mentioning Klayman being a member of an organization participating in a lawsuit against Huang in California. No other connections between Huang and Judge Chin were indicated in the attachments. When asked for basis of the letter, Klayman responded that “Judge Chin had made negative remarks about the merits of MacDraw’s case”. The attorney then accused Judge Chin of potential bias in the case, because he was of the Clinton administration and Asian American.
Chin responded: “The letter is offensive. I find the letter to be offensive. I do not think it is benign nor do I think it is respectful. Not at all.”
Chin subsequently imposed sanctions on the attorneys, ordering them to “provide a copy of Judge Chin’s opinion imposing sanctions to any other judge in the Southern District of New York.” The Second Circuit sided with Chin, asserting that “appointment by a particular administration and membership in a particular racial or ethnic group are in combination not grounds for questioning a judge’s impartiality. Zero plus zero is zero.”
Unlike Sotomayor and even Attorneys Klayman and Orfanedes, however, Trump made no attempts to make a cogent justification for his accusations of partiality of Judge Curiel or some hypothetical Muslim judge. Really, his responses are nothing more than the infantile games he has been playing this campaign season. Zero plus zero equals zero.
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