No, Judge Curiel Is Not Biased Against Donald Trump

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I have exciting news. A few days ago I asked if some qualified lawyer type person could take a look at Judge Curiel’s rulings in the Trump University case and report back on whether he’d been fair. Guess what? Someone actually took me up on this! Here is Max Kennerly’s summary:

The Makaeff case was filed on April 30, 2010, and transferred to Judge Curiel on January 30, 2013….On the issues where Judge Curiel had discretion, he generally ruled against the plaintiffs….On the issues where Judge Curiel had to rule on disputed legal concepts, he generally ruled against the plaintiffs….There’s only really one issue where Judge Curiel truly sided with the plaintiffs, and that was over the appropriate proof of damages.

….Summing Up: Judge Curiel is doing his job like a normal judge, issuing rulings consistent with the case law. But you already knew that.

For the record, note that the “plaintiffs” in this case are the folks suing Trump. So when Curiel rules against the plaintiffs, he’s ruling for Trump. There’s a whole lot of detail to back up Kennerly’s summary, and you should read it if you’re interested in this stuff.

But there’s one bit that I’ll take note of right here. Trump’s major whine is that the whole case should have been tossed out on summary judgment long ago. Kennerly points us to Ken White for an explanation of all that. Roughly speaking, White confirms that Trump is full of shit. You don’t get summary judgment unless your opponents literally have no credible evidence on their side. If they have even a small amount, then you let a jury decide. Obviously Trump’s victims do have some evidence, so summary judgment was never really a possibility.

None of this will stop Trump from whining, of course. As near as I can tell, there’s no force on earth that can stop a Trump whinefest. Without something to whine about, I don’t think Trump would find life worth living. He’s the eternally unappreciated man.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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