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Trump's "Conflict of Interest" Could Bar Minority Judges in Many Cases. Roger Algase

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Update, June 3, 4:30 pm:

House Speaker Paul Ryan, only one day after endorsing Donald Trump for president, has now criticized Trump for his racially based attack against U.S> District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel. Referring to Trump's remark that Judge Curiel has a "conflict of interest" in presiding over the lawsuit against Trump University, because of the Jusge's "Mexican heritage", Ryan said, according to POLITICO:

"Look, the comment about the judge the other day was just out of left field for my mind...It's reasoning I don't relate to. I completely disagree with the thinking behind that."

The same report also quotes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as having reservations about Trump's racial attack as well, saying:

"...these attacks don't serve the candidate very well at this point"

If only Republican leaders still had the courage to stand uo against the Frankenstein figure who is about to become their official presidential candidate. The fact that they don't, or have given up whatever guts and moral sense that they had until recently in this regard in the name of expedience and desire to win an election at any cost, may turn out to be America's tragedy in November.

Trump is certainly no Hitler, but Trump still has the potential to destroy American democracy, and his reprehensible racial attack on a federal judge whose decisions in Trump's own case, in which he is a defendant,Trump disagrees with, is just one more evidence of this.

The half-hearted, timid statements of the above two Republican Congressional leaders remind one of the "decent" Germans who opposed Hitler in the early 1930's but were afraid to speak out against him until it was too late.

For the POLITICO story, see:

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/0...y-judge-223876

My original post follows:

In typical Trump style, in response to outrage in the legal community as well as among Latinos and most others who believes in racial equality, over his comment that the federal judge in the Trump University lawsuit, Gonzalo Curiel, is biased against Trump because the (US-born) judge is a "Mexican", Trump has taken his racial invective one step further. This has disturbing, if not frightening, implications for the independence of the judiciary, and for the future of our democracy, if Trump is elected president.

The Hill reports late on June 2 that Trump is now accusing Judge Curiel of having a "conflict of interest" in this case, merely because of his "Mexican heritage". The Hill quotesTrump as having told the Wall Street Journal that Curiel's background is relevant because of Trump's stand against illegal immigration. According to Trump:

"I'm building a wall. It's an inherent conflict of interest."

http://www.thehill.com/blogs/ballot-...ct-of-interest

The implications of this latest racial insult against a federal judge are simply mind-boggling. Previously, as also reported by The Hill in the same article, Trump had accused Judge Curiel of being biased against him based on an action that the judge took in the case, i.e. allowing the lawsuit to move forward rather than dismissing it on a motion for summary judgment.

Trump had accused the judge of taking this adverse action because of the judge's ethnicity, something which alone is enough to disqualify Trump to be in charge of all federal court litigation as president, including picking Supreme Court and other federal judges.

But Trump's latest "conflict of interest" charge implies that no judge of Mexican or by extension Latino ancestry (as Trump has also referred to Judge Curie as an "Hispanic") is qualified to sit in any case involving Trump himself, purely because of ancestry, not on the basis of anything that the judge may have done or said.

(Judge Curiel's actual opinions on illegal immigration are unknown, so far as i am aware, and in any event, immigration is not the subject matter of the Trump University lawsuit.)

Now suppose thatTrump becomes president and head of the federal government. This means that he would be responsible for every one of the thousands, if not millions, of lawsuits or administrative proceedings involving one or another federal government agency, including but not limited to those involving immigration.

Would Trump instruct government lawyers to demand that every judge with a Latino name in every single one of these proceedings should recuse himself or herself because a presumed disagreement with Trump over immigration policy, even in a case that had nothing to do with immigration?

What about these government lawyers themselves? Would a Trump administration refuse to hire them, or fire existing ones on the grounds of "conflict of interest" over immigration policy in the case of lawyers who had Latino names?

And does having Mexican or other Latino ancestry automatically mean that one has a particular view about immigration policy in general? It is true that most Latinos in America are opposed to Trump's extreme immigration enforcement proposals. But not every Latino is.

(Current polling indicates that, despite his harsh immigration proposals, 20 percent or more of Latino voters may vote for Trump in the fall. (If it is less than 20 percent, all discussion of what Trump might do as president could turn out to be academic, according to most polling experts, among whom I do not claim to be.)

The assumption that every American of Mexican or other Latino origin "hates" Trump because of his immigration proposals, or even disagrees with these proposals, is not only absurd, but is the crudest form of racial prejudice. It reminds me of the time (not so long ago) when anti-Semitic haters claimed that every Jew in America had his or her first loyalty to Israel, merely by virtue of being Jewish,

More recently, it is similar to the Islamophobic message being promoted today by Trump himself, as well as many other politicians, that all Muslims, including US citizens, should be suspected of hating America and put under surveillance or barred from entering this country purely because of their religion.

Following this line of thought, most, if not all, Muslim-Americans can safely be presumed to be opposed to Trump's proposed ban on entry to the US by Muslims from anywhere in the world.

Does thai mean that no Muslim judge or administrative official should allowed to preside in any case involving a federal government agency because the judge or other official might have a "conflict of interest" with President Trump based on disagreement over immigration policy?

Would such a "conflict of interest" mean that no Latino or Muslim should be allowed to work for the federal government?

To carry these examples a bit further, suppose, hypothetically, that Trump, as he has suggested, becomes president and brings about a settlement on some issue or issues between Israel and the Palestinians by pressuring Israel into concessions that some of its supporters in America might find objectionable and blame Trump for.

Would this mean that Jewish federal judges or government employees would have a "conflict of interest" in any case involving the federal government?

This question is not so fanciful. Shortly before being forced to resign over Watergate, President Richard Nixon reportedly asked for a report identifying all federal government employees with Jewish names to put on his "enemies" list.

(Nor is Trump free from accusations that he himself has made anti-Semitic remarks see:

Trump Speech To Republican Jewish Forum Just A Series Of Offensive Stereotypes About Jews

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/20...-jewish-forum/)

Here is one more example. Trump has used very harsh language against China and other Asian countries on international trade issues, and has threatened drastic tariff increases or similar sanctions against them. Would this give all Asian federal judges or other federal government employees a "conflict of interest" if Trump becomes president?

Would a federal judge or government employee of any background or ancestry who has ever expressed an opinion or issued a decision disagreeing with President Trump on any issue whatsoever have a "conflict of interest" that would disqualify him or her sitting on any case involving the federal government, or even from working for the federal government?

If any of the above hypothetical examples were ever to become reality, America could be called many things, but "democracy" would not be one of them.

To be continued in a forthcoming post.
__________________________________
Roger Algase is a New York Immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards.

His practice is focused primarily on H-1B specialty occupation and O-1 extraordinary work visas, and green cards through labor certification and opposite sex or same sex marriage. Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com


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Updated 06-04-2016 at 05:37 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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Comments

  1. Agree with Trump's Avatar
    The "Mexicans" that Trump is talking about are also beating, attacking, verbally assaulting, and throwing eggs at peaceful white people at Trump political events. Then, they wave Mexican flags in their face and tell them to "F*ck off." Conservatives aren't standing outside Hillary events assaulting them. Maybe Trump has a point.
  2. Unregistered222's Avatar
    Lol Roger. Mexican illegal alien cockroaches should finally make a choice. Either kill people with DUIs, wave Mexican flags, burn US flags and threaten to hack people down with machetes if Trump is elected , or, quietly seat in the shadows and suck EIC and other government benefits from taxpayers. Cannot do both at the same time
  3. StevenCole's Avatar
    Trump has made many controversial statements during this campaign and this one comes as no surprise. However, the most surprising thing as mentioned in custom research paper writing service is that Trump might become the President. If that is going to happen there is no hope for the Americans or the world.
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