It was nearly two weeks ago that GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump called U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel "Mexican" and "a hater." He said Curiel's membership in a Latino attorneys organization, San Diego La Raza Lawyers, proved he was "very strongly pro-Mexican."
Trump wants the judge to recuse himself from a civil suit that alleges Trump University fraudulently preys on lower-income students. The rationale is that Curiel, born in Indiana to Mexican immigrant parents, would naturally be biased against the candidate because Trump has promised to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants and build a "great" wall along our southern border.
Trump was roundly criticized for his remarks, which he doubled down on ("He's a Mexican," he said one week ago), then softened (they were misconstrued, he said). Even the nation's highest ranking Republican public servant, Paul Ryan, called Trump's attack on Curiel "the textbook definition of a racist comment."
It seemed as if everyone across the land had an opinion on the matter except La Raza Lawyers members themselves.
Well, La Raza Lawyers of California is now speaking out.
"La Raza Lawyers of California resoundingly condemns the racist and bigoted comments Donald Trump has made about Judge Gonzalo Curiel," the group said in a statement. "Any such comments about the heritage of a judicial officer in any way impeding his ability to be impartial not only are ignorant and unfounded but undermine the rule of law in the United States, which is the foundation and the bulwark of our society and democracy."
Indeed, if a judge or jury couldn't assess someone of a different background, we'd have to let a lot of people out of prison.
La Raza Lawyers called Trump's remarks "outrageous."
The group explained where it's coming from (it's not pro-Mexican), and even included a link to our piece about its origins and outlook.
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"La Raza Lawyers of California was founded to promote and protect underserved and under-represented Latino populations in the legal system," it stated. "Today still only 4 percent of all attorneys in California are Latino, despite [slightly less than] 40 percent of Californians being Latino."
The statement came on the heels of a first-person grilling of Trump in the Washington Post by La Raza Lawyers founder and former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso.
"What Trump is doing poisons the social compact and the democracy we as Americans share," Reynoso wrote. "It is a social compact of respect for one another irrespective of race or ethnicity. We Americans have struggled long and hard to build that social compact."
Come November, you'll be the ultimate judge of Trump.