John L. Micek, 6/6/2016 [Archive]

Trump: Only White Men Can Judge Me

By John L. Micek

So just who does Donald Trump think is impartial enough to give him a fair hearing in the ongoing civil lawsuit over his defunct - and probably fraudulent - Trump University?

We already know it's not Latinos.

And over the weekend, just in time for Ramadan, the litigious, presumptive GOP presidential nominee told CBS News host John Dickerson that he also doesn't think that he could get a fair hearing from a Muslim judge either.

So who's left?

The only safe conclusion is that it's the 11 white people - eight men and three women, all of them conservative - that Trump has shortlisted for the U.S. Supreme Court seat held by the late Antonin Scalia.

Thus, a judiciary under a President Trump would look a lot like America: If he was in possession of a time machine and could roll back the clock to, say, 1955 when whites held a lock on American society and ethnic and racial minorities were largely consigned to the corners of public life.

Despite mounting pressure from his fellow Republicans, Trump has refused to back down from his starkly racist language concerning U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is hearing the class action suit against Trump University.

In interviews and on the stump, Trump has accused Curiel of being biased against him and a "hater" because he's "Mexican" and because Trump has vowed to build a wall along the United States' southern border with Mexico.

That Curiel is an American citizen, born in Indiana, and the child of Mexican immigrants, seems not to bother Trump at all. He has called for "someone to look into" Curiel and his handling of the case.

Trump doubled down Sunday in the CBS interview when Dickerson, referencing Trump's proposed Muslim travel ban, asked the candidate whether a Muslim judge would be similarly biased against him.

"It's possible, yes," Trump told Dickerson, according to The New York Times. "Yeah. That would be possible. Absolutely."

Trump dismissively called Curiel, who, as a federal prosecutor, faced death threats from a Mexican drug cartel and spent most of a year in hiding as a consequence, "a member of a club or society, very strongly pro-Mexican, which is all fine."

"But I say he's got bias," Trump continued, with no other grounds for such an assumption than, apparently, his own built-in prejudices. "I want to build a wall. I'm going to build a wall. I'm doing very well with the Latinos, with the Hispanics, with the Mexicans, I'm doing very well with them, in my opinion."

The interior of his own cranium may be the only place Trump is doing well among Latino voters. In an April poll commissioned by an immigrants' rights group, just 11 percent of Hispanic voters approved of Trump, compared to 87 percent who disapproved, The Washington Times reported.

Trump's Archie Bunker-esque propensity to Balkanize his fellow Americans by their race and ethnicity ("Look at my African-American over there," he said, calling out a black supporter at a recent rally) is bothersome enough.

But even more disturbing is what Trump's comments about Curiel and a hypothetical Muslim judge reveal about his views, not only on the judiciary, but how he might deal with the third branch of government were he to win the White House.

As president, Trump could set his Justice Department loose on judges he considered a "disgrace" like Curiel, as Peter Beinart observed in The Atlantic recently, or those he believes have treated his administration unfairly in any of the countless of civil actions routinely brought against the federal government.

Trump appears to believe that "judicial bias" is exhibited any time a judge refuses to give him his way. That's an attitude more befitting a petulant adolescent than the Leader of the Free World.

And, if we're to judge by his latest remarks, the only person Trump thinks can give him a fair shake is someone who looks exactly like him.

With exception of the mirror in his gold-plated penthouse, that rules out pretty much everyone.

And that might be the way a President Trump would prefer it.


©Copyright 2016 John L. Micek, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

An award-winning political journalist, Micek is the Opinion Editor and Political Columnist for PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. Readers may follow him on Twitter @ByJohnLMicek and email him at

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