A Biased Judge? Donald Trump Has Claimed It Before
The circumstances sound eerily familiar: Donald J. Trump and his legal team had suffered a setback in a major court case. So they leveled an attack on the presiding judge, calling him irredeemably biased and unfair.
“Your Honor,” wrote a lawyer for Mr. Trump, “harbors deep-seated antagonism that would make impartial adjudication impossible.”
The year was 2008, and Mr. Trump’s arguments closely resembled those he is now making against Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel, a federal judge in California overseeing a class action lawsuit against the defunct Trump University.
Today, Mr. Trump claims that Judge Curiel, who was born in Indiana, is incapable of objectively judging the case because of his Mexican heritage and record of being, in Mr. Trump’s words, “a hater of Donald Trump.”
Between 2008 and 2010, Mr. Trump’s lawyers went even further — turning angry accusations into an unusual, elbows-out legal campaign to remove not one but two New York judges who oversaw the lawsuit. One judge was an African-American man, the other a white woman.