Of all the terrible things he’s done that make him absolutely unqualified to be president and unthinkable to vote for, period, his effort to demonize a sitting judge who is hearing a case against him is the worst. The worst. By far.
It’s unbelievable how inappropriate this is. Dean Obeidallah lays out part of the case.
Republican politicians slamming federal judges is nothing new. We have seen it time and time again with conservatives attacking “judicial activism”…But the difference is that both the Republicans and Democrats who have publicly criticized judges in the past have been focused on constitutional issues that impact countless Americans. That’s not what Trump is talking about here. Trump is only concerned how this lawsuit will impact one, Donald J. Trump.
The NY Times highlights what a threat this kind of action is to the system.
So it is particularly important to note when Mr. Trump’s statements go beyond the merely provocative or absurd and instead represent a threat to America’s carefully balanced political system. This is such a moment. It is not too late for Republicans who revere that system to question how they can embrace a nominee who has so little regard for it.
We need to see Republican jurists denounce this behavior. Above all, it’s an abuse of his access to the media to influence an active legal action. So let’s play this out. If Trump was successful in his ridiculous effort to get Judge Curiel to recuse himself, what if the next judge assigned was black? Does he too have to recuse himself? A woman? Would only a white male that agrees with Donald Trump be suitable to judge him?
Besides the absurdity of it all, what is Trump admitting about his own rhetoric? That it would be understandable for someone of Mexican heritage to have a grudge against him. He calls it “an inherent conflict of interest” on the part of the judge. He admits this at the same time he claims to be the best possible president for Latinos and court their vote. That’s just another unsupportable bit of pretzel logic for Trump, the Baker in Chief.
But it must be said that this kind of demonization, that Mexican-Americans are not Americans, is what Hitler did to German Jews.
And by way Judge Curiel’s bio is a great American story. He’s the exact kind of person we need in public service, which Trump would never understand. Curiel vs. Trump is almost a comic book hero/villain story, complete with the bad guy’s weird hair.
Update: Thank you John Yoo, even the torture memo guy gets that Trump has crossed a line.
“This is how authoritarianism starts, with a president who does not respect the judiciary,” David Post — a former law professor and writer for the conservative-leaning Washington Post blog the Volokh Conspiracy — told the Times, in reference to Trump’s comments about the judge. “You can criticize the judicial system, you can criticize individual cases, you can criticize individual judges. But the president has to be clear that the law is the law and that he enforces the law. That is his constitutional obligation.”