Political commentator Bill O’Reilly made the case on Monday that Gonzalo P. Curiel, the federal judge presiding over lawsuits involving Trump University, should recuse himself from the cases.
“Trump U. case is certainly political to some extent and a very high-profile situation,” he said during Monday’s airing of “The O’Reilly Factor.”
“Because of that, Talking Points believes the judge should recuse himself not because he did anything wrong — he didn’t — but to eliminate any doubt as to motivation in rulings,” he explained.
O’Reilly said this after first pointing out that, “although appointed by Barack Obama, Judge Curiel is no raging liberal.”
He’s simply a federal judge of Mexican descent who may or may not hold some bias against presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.
The allegations of bias stem primarily from Judge Curiel’s membership in the San Diego La Raza Lawyers association, which performs advocacy work on behalf of Latinos but reportedly hosts no direct ties to the radical La Raza group.
Is O’Reilly right or wrong here? It probably depends on whom you ask. Trump supporters would likely argue that he is right, while those who oppose the GOP nominee might emphasize O’Reilly’s point that Curiel has done nothing wrong.
The debate over whether Curiel should or should not recuse himself is a legitimate one. That said, the related debate over whether Trump is a racist for simply mentioning the judge’s Mexican ethnicity is an absurd waste of time.
If a pragmatist like O’Reilly thinks recusal is the best answer, then really anyone else should as well — including the “Never Trump” types who have taken to lambasting the presumptive nominee as a racist and bigot.
But unfortunately, pragmatism is apparently not one of their strong suits …
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