One of key controversies dogging Donald Trump right now has to do with his overt racism towards U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, whom the Republican candidate says cannot be an impartial jurist because of his ethnicity. Over the weekend, Trump added he might have a problem with Muslim judges, too.
When CBS’s John Dickerson asked, “Isn’t there sort of a tradition, though, in America that we don’t judge people by who their parents were and where they came from?” Trump replied, “I’m not talking about tradition, I’m talking about common sense, OK?”
On the show last night, Hillary Clinton told Rachel, “I imagine he’ll move on to women judges because he’s been insulting women so regularly.”
Clinton was speaking hypothetically, but as it turns out, right around the time the Democratic candidate made the observation, Trump’s spokesperson told a national television audience that it might also be acceptable to accuse a woman on the bench of bias on the basis of her gender. The Huffington Post reported last night:
“Well, it would depend on her past and decisions she made as a judge,” Trump’s national spokeswoman Katrina Pierson said.Noting that Trump’s sister is also a federal judge, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Pierson if it would be “awful” to accuse her of bias “in regard to some case because she’s a woman.”But Pierson would not rule it out, adding that “there is no question that there are activist judges in this country.”
Remember, Senate Republicans think so highly of the Trump campaign that they’re leaving a Supreme Court vacancy in place, in the hopes that he’ll be elected president and pick a justice he approves of.
As for Clinton, let’s circle back to the quote from last night’s show again: “I imagine he’ll move on to women judges because he’s been insulting women so regularly, or maybe a judge with a disability, or perhaps one who was a former POW, or African American. This is dangerous nonsense that undermines the rule of law, that makes him appear to be someone who has no respect for fellow Americans, and I think it is yet more evidence why this man is dangerous and divisive, and disqualified from being president.”
To be sure, neither Trump nor his team have gone after judges with disabilities, judges who are veterans, or judges who are African American, but there’s quite a bit of time remaining in the election cycle, so it’s best not to rule anything out.