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Does Trump's Attack On "Mexican" Judge Endanger Independent Judiciary? Roger Algase

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In my May 28 post, I discussed the connection between Donald Trump's racial/religious attacks on Mexican immigrants as "criminals" and "rapists" and on Muslim immigrants as "haters", and his unspeakable personal attack against US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over a lawsuit to which Trump is a defendant, namely the litigation over Trump University. In that attack, Trump combined the two themes which he has used mainly against immigrants in the past to order to go after a federal judge whose handling of Trump's own case Trump doesn't agree with.

In his speech at a San Diego rally, Trump called Judge Curiel both a "Mexican" and a "hater" (of Donald Trump). The fact that Judge Curiel was born in Indiana, not normally considered part of Mexico, and that the only evidence of "hate" on the part of the Judge was based on Trump's disagreement with his conduct of the lawsuit, did not seem to matter to the man who may have an excellent chance of becoming the next president of the United States.

If ever there was an attempt to compromise the independence of the judiciary through intimidation, using techniques honed and perfected through Trump's assaults on immigrants, this would be a prime example.

In a May 30 article entitled Trump's threat to Judge Is What Authoritarianism Looks Like, Walter Olson, writing for a group called Foundation for Economic Education, which, judging from Olson's following remarks hardly appears to be a liberal or left wing advocacy group, makes this comment:

"Obama's 2010 State of the Union remarks railing at the Justices of the Supreme court in their presence regarding Citizens United were bad. This is far worse; the case is still in progress, and the attack is on a single judge who will now find his task of ensuring a fair trial complicated. Trump, who speaks regularly around the country, chose to unleash the diatribe in the locality where the judge and others who will participate in the case work and live."

Olson continues:

"Law professor Josh Blackman, active in the Federalist Society [well known as a conservative organization]writes as follows:

'His [Trump's] jaw dropping comments reflect an utter ignorance about what judges do, and amounts to a dangerous attack on the fairness of our court system. Whatever negligible good will he built up by nominating a list of solid potential nominees to the Supreme Court was squandered with this scurrilous attack. Those who defended his selection process should immediately rebuke him for these baseless insults...'"

Finally, Olson quotes Professor Blackman as follows:

"'I am speechless. Absolutely and totally speechless. I was highly critical of President Obama's attacks on the Court. I cringe to think what will happen when the Supreme Court rules against [Trump].'"


Again, it is clear from Professor Blackman's above quoted criticism of President Obama and the Professor's support for Trump's list of potential Supreme Court nominees, some of whom are close friends or relatives of key Republican Senators and whose independence and freedom from influence would be very much suspect for that reason, that Blackman is no left wing partisan.

His warning that Trump might retaliate against Supreme Court Justices for issuing a ruling that Trump might not like is all the more chilling for that reason.

To date, Trump has not encountered any strong or serious criticism in the mainstream media, (with perhaps a very few exceptions such as the Washington Post) for his tirades against minority immigrants. But what happens if his target later turns out to be the Supreme Court, and, by extension, our entire court system, backed up by Trump's control over the enormous powers of the presidency?

What would happen to America's democracy then?

Olson's article is available at the following link:

https://fee.org/articles/trumps-thre...sm-looks-like/


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Updated 06-01-2016 at 09:05 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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