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Monday, June 06, 2016

Trumping racism

Trump said he could not get a fair trial in a civil lawsuit because the federal judge in the case, Gonzalo Curiel, is the son of Mexican immigrants and Trump has made remarks about illegal Mexican immigrants that may have upset Curiel. The day after Trump said that, Judge Curiel released to the Washington Post certain sealed documents in the case.

Amid all the brouhaha about what Trump said comes a question about racism in the courts.

Three days before Trump accused the judge of prejudice, the New York Times reported:
The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that prosecutors in Georgia violated the Constitution by striking every black prospective juror in a death penalty case against a black defendant. The vote was 7 to 1, with Justice Clarence Thomas dissenting.
The case, Foster v. Chatman, No. 14-8349, arose from the 1987 trial of Timothy T. Foster, an African-American facing the death penalty for killing Queen Madge White, an elderly white woman, when he was 18.
In notes that did not surface until decades later, prosecutors marked the names of black prospective jurors with a B and highlighted those names in green. They circled the word “black” where potential jurors had noted their race on questionnaires.
They ranked those prospective jurors in case “it comes down to having to pick one of the black jurors,” as the prosecution’s investigator put it in a draft affidavit at the time. In the end, prosecutors struck all four black potential jurors.
After Mr. Foster was convicted, Stephen Lanier, the lead prosecutor, urged the all-white jury to impose a death sentence to “deter other people out there in the projects.” The jury did so.
Now it should be noted that Justice Thomas, a native of Georgia, deferred to the trial judge's decision on juror selection. However, as much as I admire Justice Thomas for his intellect, intestinal fortitude, and integrity, I would apply to this case the standard of avoiding the appearance of impropriety, which traces to I Thessalonians 5:22: “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” An all-white jury gave the appearance of impropriety in determining the death sentence. No one argues that it got the murder conviction correct.

Which leads to Judge Curiel. Does having him preside over the case give the appearance of impropriety?

Former U.S. attorney general Alberto R. Gonzales argued yes:
An independent judiciary is extremely important. But that value is not the only one in play here. Equally important, if not more important from my perspective as a former judge and U.S. attorney general, is a litigant’s right to a fair trial. The protection of that right is a primary reason why our Constitution provides for an independent judiciary. If judges and the trials over which they preside are not perceived as being impartial, the public will quickly lose confidence in the rule of law upon which our nation is based. For this reason, ethics codes for judges — including the federal code of conduct governing Curiel — require not only that judges actually be impartial, but that they avoid even the “appearance of impropriety.”  That appearance typically is measured from the standpoint of a reasonable litigant.
Gonzales however argued that Trump cannot dismiss the judge merely because of the judge's lineage. There must be something more, and Gonzales found it:
Curiel is, reportedly, a member of a group called La Raza Lawyers of San Diego. Trump’s aides, meanwhile, have indicated that they believe Curiel is a member of the National Council of La Raza, a vocal advocacy organization that has vigorously condemned Trump and his views on immigration. The two groups are unaffiliated, and Curiel is not a member of NCLR. But Trump may be concerned that the lawyers’ association or its members represent or support the other advocacy organization. Coupled with that question is the fact that in 2014, when he certified the class-action lawsuit against Trump, Curiel appointed the Robbins Geller law firm to represent plaintiffs. Robbins Geller has paid $675,000 in speaking fees since 2009 to Trump’s likely opponent, Hillary Clinton, and to her husband, former president Bill Clinton. Curiel appointed the firm in the case before Trump entered the presidential race, but again, it might not be unreasonable for a defendant in Trump’s position to wonder who Curiel favors in the presidential election. These circumstances, while not necessarily conclusive, at least raise a legitimate question to be considered. Regardless of the way Trump has gone about raising his concerns over whether he’s getting a fair trial, none of us should dismiss those concerns out of hand without carefully examining how a defendant in his position might perceive them — and we certainly should not dismiss them for partisan political reasons.
Obama appointed Curiel. One factor was Curiel's parents. If we are going to play the game that ethnicity matters in appointing people to the federal judiciary, then we cannot ignore complaints about the appearance of impropriety from that ethnicity, or through usage "race."

We also cannot overlook the judge's connection to Crooked Clinton.

Is Trump right? I have no idea. But certainly he has every right to raise the issue. If that makes a few conservatives uncomfortable, too damned bad.


32 comments:

  1. Trump is on firm legal ground and it's been proven over and over that Lefty judges vote their biases.

    Why should this be any different?

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    Replies
    1. Please cite the federal law that gives "firm legal ground" to Trump to cite ethnicity alone as reason to dismiss a federal judge from a case involving him?

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    2. The first Amendment..

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    3. Care to quote the First Amendment passage that supports the legal argument? I cant find it.

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    4. Ok. you are not worth a trollfight.
      waste of time..

      Delete
    5. Of course I am not worth the troll fight ... you can't substantiate your assertions, thus you run rather than get shamed for your ignorance.

      Delete
  2. Soon we'll have segregated court systems, but can't talk that way about schools because Hitler. Please send all donations to the United Negro College Fund.

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    Replies
    1. If Trump has his way, we will have segregated court systems. Trump or Hillary (or possibly Bernie). Say goodbye to America as we know with the next president.

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  3. He has reason to be suspicious.
    "Trump said he could not get a fair trial in a civil lawsuit because the federal judge in the case, Gonzalo Curiel, is the son of Mexican immigrants and Trump has made remarks about illegal Mexican immigrants that may have upset Curiel. The day after Trump said that, Judge Curiel released to the Washington Post certain sealed documents in the case."

    Sounds like prejudicial action to me. And, I should think, illegal to give sealed documents to a newspaper.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Had Oompa Loopa Trump (OLT) recited everything you cited in your post, then, maybe, just maybe, there could be a shred of doubt to Curiel's decision. However, when you consider all that OLT has said on the issue, when given ample opportunity to expand on his comments is: "He's of Mexican heritage and I'm building a wall" then no amount of Don Surber MSM-background spinning can dig the OLT out of this one. But at least OLT is warming to Muslims ... just months after ridiculing Obama's praise of Mulism athletes, OLT tweeted a sincere note about the passing of Muhammad Ali.
    Gotta love that our next president will be "Crazy" "Crooked" or an "Oompa Loopa."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps you understand what an "Oompa Loopa" is but many of use out here are scratching our heads.

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    2. Perhaps many of you are scratching your heads because is lodged up the Donald's ..... Google: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Trump's exact look-a-likes play a recurring role in the movie.

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    3. Now this-is an Oopa-Loompa:
      http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=966

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    4. I should apologize to the Oompa Loopas. Their tans and hair are nicer than Trump's.

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  5. Considering that the judge in Trump's case believes himself to be a member of the "Mexican Race," The Donald (or, actually, his attorney(s)), would be remiss if they did not bring up this conflict of interest on the judge's part. - Elric

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    1. Please cite where Curiel was quoted as saying he believed he was a member of the "Mexican race." And what is exactly is the conflict of interest here other than Curiel's parents are from Mexico?

      And though there is no denying the Indiana-born and raised Curiel has Mexican heritage, ethnicity alone - which is what Oompa Loop Trump contends is the issue - is a very troubling reason to cite to discredit a federal judge.

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    2. According to the article and
      our former (HISPANIC) attorney
      Curiel belongs to the Attorney's
      version of LA Raza (The Race.)
      Mestizo's 'R' US. OK. I have
      seen these klowns in action no
      better than BLM or KKK.
      Trump does have a dog in this fight..

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    3. What article. Your post makes no sense.

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    4. did not read Don's article?
      read it.
      Good-bye..

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    5. I read this, maybe you should re-read:
      "Curiel is, reportedly, a member of a group called La Raza Lawyers of San Diego. Trump’s aides, meanwhile, have indicated that they believe Curiel is a member of the National Council of La Raza, a vocal advocacy organization that has vigorously condemned Trump and his views on immigration. The two groups are unaffiliated, and Curiel is not a member of NCLR."

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  6. If Curiel is a member of the LaRaza Lawyers association, then Trump has some grounds for asking the judge to step aside. If Curiel does not recuse himself, and the lawsuit ends up going against Trump, the Donald has more than enough money to pay his lawyers to appeal the decision on the grounds of judicial bias. That kind of appeal is common enough. No big deal.

    Why does/did the Georgia questionnaire for the jurors even ask the prospective jurors to indicate their race? Isn't that racist? In voir dire, the prosecutors could still have tried to strike every one of the black jurors, but that illegal tactic would have become obvious to any judge during the tedious questioning of each person in the jury pool.

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  7. What does a Georgia court case have to do with Curiel/Trump? Talk about apples and oranges! SMH. What does Curiel's membership of the LaRaza Lawyers association have to do with this ruling? Give me the federal law precedent(s) for Trump's assertion that one's ethnicity is reason for dismissing a federal judge's ruling. You blind Surbots are a strange bunch.

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  8. Dude, if saying good bye to America as I know know it is what I get if Trump is elected I'm all in.

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  9. White men running for President -- All totally racist hitlers.
    Activist hispanic judges who are La Raza/The Hispanic KKK members -- Totally not racist.

    Any questions?

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  10. ooops...White men running for President IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

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  11. ooops...White men running for President IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. White men running in Dem party--No Problemo!

      Delete
  12. Big D, you're starting to get trolled HARD now by the Leftist Cuckoo Birds! This is a good sign for your future.

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    Replies
    1. I'm guessing the Gazette staff got bored today

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    2. Oompa Loop Trump is back pedaling rather swiftly now on his [most stupid] comments. I thought he had backbone?

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  13. From Powerline: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2016/06/trumps-jujitsu-overthrow-of-liberalism.php

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  14. Turns out Curiel is an anchor baby.

    ReplyDelete