WASHINGTON: Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has said “it’s possible” that Muslim judges, in addition to Hispanic jurists, would be biased against him and thus ineligible to oversee any case involving him.
Democrats and Republicans alike have rebuked Trump for his insistence that a federal judge, an American citizen since his birth to Mexican immigrants in Indiana, is biased because of the businessman’s plan to build a wall on the southern border.
Judge Gonzalo Curiel is sitting in one of three cases brought against Trump University, a forprofit institution that has been accused of defrauding students of tens of thousands of dollars and called “a total lie” and “fraudulent scheme” by former employees. Last week, Curiel ordered the release of testimony and documents related to the suit, prompting Trump’s accusation of bias.
Trump expanded this argument in an interview with CBS’s Face the Nation that was broadcast on Sunday. Because of his proposal to “temporarily” ban Muslims from entering the US, he said, it “would be possible, absolutely” that he would consider a Muslim judge inappropriate in court.
“He’s a member of a club or society very strongly from Mexico, which is fine,” Trump said of Curiel. “But I say he’s got bias. I’m going to build a wall. I’m going to build a wall.”
But although the Republican candidate has complained “this judge is treating me very unfairly” and claims to have heard from “numerous lawyers” about his argument, his lawyers have not asked the Curiel to recuse himself.