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FEDERAL JUDGE OVERSEEING “TRUMP UNIVERSITY” LAWSUIT IS A MEMBER

by Sharon Rondeau

Screenshot taken on June 6, 2016 of the bottom of the “Links and Affiliates” page of the La Raza Lawyers of California website

(Jun. 6, 2016) — The website of the La Raza Lawyers Association of California contains a page with a link leading to the National Council of La Raza, a fact not reported by the mainstream media following the controversy which arose after likely Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump criticized one of its members, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel.

Curiel is presiding over a civil case against the now-defunct “Trump University,” which offered courses in real estate. Trump believes that Curiel possesses a bias against him by taking the case to trial; Trump claims that the case should have been dismissed on “summary judgment.”

Trump has called Curiel “Mexican;” he is reportedly of Mexican descent and born in Indiana.

The New York Times reported that Curiel’s parents both became U.S. citizens, athough the exact times are not stated.  “Judge Curiel, 62, was born in East Chicago, Ind., to parents who had emigrated from Mexico. Raul Curiel said their father, Salvador, arrived in Arizona as a laborer in the 1920s, eventually receiving citizenship and becoming a steelworker. Their parents were married in Mexico in 1946, and their mother, Francisca, became a citizen after joining her husband in the United States,” The Times reported on Friday.

The La Raza Lawyers of California website’s main page contains links to several articles defending Curiel as a fine jurist.

When clicking on “Links and Affiliates” on the left sidebar of the website, the reader is brought to a page with the heading, “The Chicano/Latino Bar Association of California” containing a list of various organizations, including La Raza Lawyers groups in other cities.

At the bottom of the page are links to six more groups, the third of which is “National Council of La Raza (NCLR).”

NCLR advocates for Obama’s “DACA” program, which, beginning in 2012 by executive action, has allowed young people brought illegally to the United States when they were minors to avoid deportation under certain conditions.

“DACA” works, Ready for DAPA!” a sign held by a young Hispanic woman reads in a photo on La Raza’s website.  “DAPA” is Obama’s proposed program to permit millions of relatives of DACA recipients to remain in the country as a component of Obama’s November 20, 2014 declared executive actions.

The additional executive actions have not been implemented since 26 states challenged them in federal court. In February 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen placed a temporary injunction on the actions pending appeal.  Later last year, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the injunction, and the case is now under review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Daily Caller obtained a copy of the questionnaire completed by Curiel after he was nominated by Barack Obama to the federal bench in 2011 wherein he lists two addresses he gave to La Raza Lawyers.  The organization’s mission is to “support Chicano and Latino Lawyers in California and serve as a statewide network for local affiliate La Raza Lawyers Groups.”

On June 1, The DC reported that Curiel was a member of a committee tasked with nominating La Raza Lawyers of San Diego Scholarship Fund recipients, with one reportedly identifying himself as “undocumented.”  The organization also grants scholarships to law students entering the San Diego School of Law.

During his campaign, Trump has taken a strong stand against the entry of illegal aliens into the U.S. and called for a temporary halt to Islamic “refugees” from all countries.  He has stated that he wants to “build a wall” between the U.S. and Mexico to keep out the tens of thousands of illegals pouring over the border, with a sharp increase in 2014.

On Monday, Fox News’s Eric Bolling suggested that when Trump claimed Curiel held a bias against him, Trump was “confusing” one La Raza group with the other.  “This is what the Democrats do,” a co-host on “The Five” said to Bolling’s possible explanation of Trump’s assertion.

NCLR has indicated opposition to Trump’s hosting of an edition of “Saturday Night Live” last fall.  NCLR President and CEO  Janet Marguia has accused Trump of having “put his bigotry and hateful rhetoric into policy. His agenda of mass deportation, a massive wall, and the end of birthright citizenship hits many of the hallmarks of bad policy-making: completely impractical, prohibitively expensive, widely unpopular, doomed to fail, and deeply inconsistent with our values as a nation,” Marguia wrote on August 22.

However, NCLR has condemned violent attacks against Trump supporters last Friday in San Jose, CA while also denouncing Trump’s “despicable attack” on Curiel.

In a blog post on Saturday, Marguia wrote, in part:

For the record, Judge Gonzalo Curiel was a member of La Raza Lawyers Association, a respected network of local bar associations of Latino lawyers and judges in California. We are the National Council of La Raza, a different group and the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States.

There are in fact hundreds if not thousands of organizations, media outlets, and associations that use “La Raza.” There is nothing nefarious about the use of this term. It simply refers to the Hispanic people and it is a nod to our common heritage. But apparently that heritage is the reason Donald Trump believes he cannot get a fair shake from Judge Curiel. It brings back awful memories of more than a few people saying that Thurgood Marshall should not have been the first African-American Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court because of his long and storied involvement in the civil rights movement.

There is a “La Raza” radio station based in East Los Angeles sponsored by the Spanish Broadcasting System and another based in Houston.  A third has a similar format to the others and broadcasts from San Francisco. The Post & Email’s editor is proficient at reading in Spanish and was unable to find a definitive connection between the radio stations and NCLR.

Another group, “El Centro de la Raza,” states that it is a “Center for People of all Races” but also says it advocates for “the Latino community” and for “social justice.”

In 2006, Human Events reported, in part:

There are many immigrant groups joined in the overall “La Raza” movement. The most prominent and mainstream organization is the National Council de La Raza — the Council of “The Race”.

To most of the mainstream media, most members of Congress, and even many of their own members, the National Council of La Raza is no more than a Hispanic Rotary Club.

But the National Council of La Raza succeeded in raking in over $15.2 million in federal grants last year alone, of which $7.9 million was in U.S. Department of Education grants for Charter Schools, and undisclosed amounts were for get-out-the-vote efforts supporting La Raza political positions.

Human Events links NCLR to a number of “secondary organizations,” one of which is identified as M.E.Ch.A., which has taken the side of “Palestine” in a 2012 Israeli-Arab conflict and opposed Arizona’s 2010 immigration law, HB 1070, which was partially stricken down by the U.S. Supreme Court and partially upheld.

MEChA’s website states that the student group, founded in 1969, adopted the official name, “Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan.” Further, MEChA wrote:

Adamant rejection of the label “Mexican-American” meant rejection of the assimilation and accommodationist melting pot ideology that had guided earlier generations of activists. Chicanismo involves a crucial distinction in a political consciousness between a Mexican-American (Hispanic) and a Chicana/o mentality.

Of the MEChA movement’s goals, Human Events stated:

MEChA and the La Raza movement teach that Colorado, California, Arizona, Texas, Utah, New Mexico, Oregon and parts of Washington State make up an area known as “Aztlan” — a fictional ancestral homeland of the Aztecs before Europeans arrived in North America. As such, it belongs to the followers of MEChA. These are all areas America should surrender to “La Raza” once enough immigrants, legal or illegal, enter to claim a majority, as in Los Angeles. The current borders of the United States will simply be extinguished.

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  1. I am part-Hispanic-American and part Dutch-American, a Combat United States Marine Veteran, and 100% American. LaRaza and MEChA are Anti-America HATE groups who should be and will be kicked out of this Great America.

    You Idiots have no sense of LOYALTY to the AMERICA we Combat Soldiers and Marines fought for America to be America NOT mexico.

    GO AMERICA FOREVER.

    1. Please bear in mind that by reporting about the LaRaza Lawyers, The Post & Email is not endorsing the organization. Rather, our purpose is to inform Americans and the world of the truth in all circumstances.

  2. It was the Washington Post that wanted access to the documents. The plaintiff’s attorneys had nothing to do with the release of the documents.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/28/politics/trump-university-donald-trump-documents/

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/judge-orders-release-of-documents-in-trump-university-lawsuit-1464489802

    However, Trump’s lawyers argued against the release of the documents not on the basis that it could potentially bias a jury, but rather because the documents contained trade secrets.

    I’ve looked at the documents and I don’t see any trade secrets. Unless you consider high pressure sales techniques used in most time-share operations as a trade secrets.

    And Trump’s attorneys could still file a motion asking the judge to recuse himself. The trial has not started yet and is not scheduled until after the election in November. This motion can be filed at any time prior to trial if the judge shows any bias or prejudice against a party.

    So if the evidence is there, why not simply file the motion? Delaying this could result in the motion being denied because it was not filed in a timely fashion.

    I’d also like to point out a statement from one of Trump’s attorneys just last month. Daniel Petrocelli, said “We’re not seeking to recuse the judge.” He told Yahoo News, “The judge is doing his job.”

  3. Not sure where you went to law school or where you finished in your class. For every attorney who finished in the top half of the class, there’s another in the bottom half. My ranking was top 10%, serving on law review both 2L and 3L. But that was 42 years ago and the profession has taught me so much more. Your remarks make me wonder how much actual experience you have.

    Recusal is not done in the middle of a trial. It’s done, if at all, at the beginning of the case. As a lawyer, you ought to know that recusal is no longer an option now more than three years into the case. Nothing new about Judge Curiel has come out now that wasn’t known three years ago. Without some new revelation, recusal is no longer an option. Stop parroting the inane talking points of the democrats and the castrated republicans.

    When pre-trial rulings go against you,, my advise to you counselor is this: Don’t go crying to the judge demanding he recuse himself because you don’t like him. You’re liberal buddies would have had a field day if Trump had actually tried that. It will not go well for you if you try it. As an aside, I’m not surprised Megyn Kelly doesn’t know any better either.

    Yes, the jury will render a verdict. But if you truly don’t think the judge will decide this case, you clearly are not a trial lawyer. The influence of a trial judge is enormous. They control what the jury hears. They control which witnesses get to speak. They control what documents may be revealed to the jury. They control the law. Juries are the triers of the facts, not the law. Clearly, your ignorance tells me you have never dealt with a JNOV. The power of the trial judge is enormous.

    After 42 years of trial practice, I can tell you there ARE biased jurists at every level. Thankfully, they are few and far between, but there are some. You might easily suspect that if the case were being heard by a white jurist hearing a criminal trial for the rape of a white woman by a black man, especially when you learn he has friends in the KKK, or that he has attended rally’s. You might worry when you’re defending an abortion clinic doctor accused of infanticide when you learn the judge had protested outside an abortion clinic in his youth.

    It was improper for the judge to make court documents available BEFORE the case is heard. We call that trying the case in the public eye. Not sure how you did in Civ. Pro. or Federal Courts, but that’s extremely rare and it reveals the very animus of which Trump complains. If you understood the argument made by the Plaintiff attorneys to make those records public, it might give you pause before you try to divorce the judge’s oath to remain unbiased and even-handed from the political agenda that drives him. But you don’t understand the arguments made by the lawyers who gave the Clintons $675,000 for three speeches. You should, but you don’t because you don’t care to know.

  4. All judges have political beliefs that may be opposite that of the parties involved in the cases before them. This is not a reason for a judge to recuse himself if he can remain impartial. Gonzalo Curiel has given no indication that he is not impartial.

    Judge Curiel was assigned to this case before Donald Trump ever announced he was running for president. If Donald Trump thinks that the judge is ruling against him on pre-trial motions because of their differing political beliefs, then the proper thing to do is to file a motion asking the judge to recuse himself. He has not done this because there is absolutely zero evidence that the judge is partial to the plaintiffs.

    Judge Curiel will not be deciding this case. It will be a jury trial. The jury will need to decide if the defendants, of which Trump is one of them, committed an act of fraud. This is not a case about immigration.

    Trump is just angry that unflattering documents are now available for the public to see.