AP NEWS

Federal judge compares Donald Trump’s criticism of courts to ‘Klan’s lawyers’

April 12, 2019

A federal judge delivered a speech Thursday lambasting President Trump’s administration, saying the president has selected judicial nominees that do not represent the diversity of America.

During a speech at the University of Virginia School of Law, Judge Carlton W. Reeves, an Obama appointee, compared the president to the Ku Klux Klan and called his administration a “great assault on our judiciary.”

“When politicians attack courts as ‘dangerous,’ ‘political,’ and guilty of ‘egregious overreach,’ you can hear the Klan’s lawyers, assailing officers of the court across the South,” the judge said.

He noted 90 percent of the president’s picks for the federal bench have been white.

The judge, who hears cases in the Southern District of Mississippi, called on lawyers to defend the judiciary against the president’s attacks, as Mr. Trump has been known to criticize certain judges and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals when it rules against his agenda.

“The slander and falsehoods thrown at courts today are not those of a critic, seeking to improve the judiciary’s search for truth. They are words of an attacker, seeking to distort and twist that search toward falsehood,” Judge Reeves said.

Mr. Trump’s infamous criticism of questioning judges’ impartiality even sparked Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. to weigh in last year.

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them,” Chief Justice Roberts told the Associated Press.

One such incident of the president’s unusual criticism occurred during the 2016 campaign when then candidate Donald Trump attacked Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who was presiding over a lawsuit involving Trump University.

Mr. Trump said he believed Mr. Curiel was biased because he was of Mexican heritage. Judge Curiel was born in Indiana.