Authored by Casey Harper / 06/06/2016
Donald Trump has taken heavy fire for saying the judge presiding over his Trump University lawsuit is biased because of his Mexican heritage, but Democrats have a long history of invoking race on judicial issues.
Trump said U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel had “an absolute conflict” in the case because of his Mexican heritage, calling him “a hater of Donald Trump.” In the case, former students of Trump University are suing Trump alleging the school, which was supposed to teach real estate, was a ripoff. Trump has firmly denied their allegations.
In an interview, CNN’s Jake Tapper repeatedly questioned Trump about invoking the judge’s race saying “is that not the definition of racism?”
“But I don’t care if you criticize him,” Tapper told Trump in the interview. “That’s fine. You can criticize every decision. What I’m saying is if you invoke his race as a reason why he can’t do his job …” The problem is, a judge’s race is often a major factor and is acknowledged as such by the media, especially in Supreme Court appointments.
The Daily Caller News Foundation has compiled a list of seven times liberals invoked a judge’s race.
- Justice Sonia Sotomayor famously invoked her identity as a “wise Latina” who could outdo a white man. “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” she said in an October, 2001 speech that became a point of criticism for Republicans.
- When Donald Trump released his list of potential Supreme Court nominees, the left was quick to point out they were all white. Think Progress published an article titled “Your Ultimate Guide To The 11 White People Donald Trump Will Consider For The Supreme Court,” which pointed out that “Only three are women. All are white.”
- George Takei, Star Trek actor and gay rights activist, called Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas a “clown in black face” after his vote against the recognition of same-sex marriage. “I mean, doesn’t he know that slaves were in chains?” Takei said. “That they were whipped on the back. If he saw the movie 12 Years a Slave, you know, they were raped.”
- Liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson blasted Thomas for his stance against affirmative action. “I believe in affirmative action, but I have to acknowledge there are arguments against it,” Robinson wrote. “One of the more cogent is the presence of Justice Clarence Thomas on the U.S. Supreme Court.”
- Anna Quindlen, a liberal writer for Newsweek, clearly invoked Thomas’ race in her criticism of him, saying “His judicial resume was mediocre; he was chosen because he was conservative and black, an affirmative-action hire by an administration that eschewed affirmative action.”
- Liberal writers and activists Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon wrote an article in the Seattle Times saying Thomas was unseemly as a “beneficiary of affirmative-action programs who climbs the ladder of success by attacking affirmative action.”
- To defend itself from criticism over nominating a white Supreme Court Justice, the White House was quick to invoke race. In a post titled, “White House Defends Diversity Record In Judicial Appointments,” the New York Times points out that Josh Earnest was eager to tell reporters that Obama had appointed a Hispanic justice to the Supreme Court and therefore, had previously embraced diversity. The defense came after attacks from the left over nominee Merrick Garland, who is white.