Michael Gaynor
June 20, 2016
Donald Trump smartly advised Paul Ryan to be quiet and Ryan owes Trump an apology
By Michael Gaynor

Justice Sotomayor, a Latina, is entitled to her perception of judging. Trump, a white man, is entitled to share her perception without being condemned as racist for agreeing with her.

Recently, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump publicly expressed his personal opinion that a federal judge's ethnic heritage had affected some of that judge's rulings.

Then Paul Ryan, the failed 2012 Republican vice presidential candidate and current Speaker of the House, publicly asserted that Trump's comments about Gonzalo Curiel, a federal district court judge of Mexican heritage appointed by President Obama presiding over a case against Trump University, is a "textbook definition of a racist comment."

That assertion was absurd as well as hurtful to Trump's campaign, but it fit the narrative of the liberal media perfectly.

Ryan should have known better, and should apologize to Trump (as should Mitt Romney, the failed 2012 Republican presidential nominee who chose not to run for President a third time, appears to be jealous of Trump's political success this year and may have had a bad influence on Ryan).

Either Trump or presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will be elected President of the United States this year.

Ryan has been more helpful to Clinton than he has been to Trump.

Trump should have lambasted Ryan for hurting Trump's campaign.

Instead, Trump calmly cautioned Ryan to "be quiet."

Ryan being quiet would be good for Trump, since at least Ryan would not be affirmatively helping Clinton, and good for Ryan, since he would not be proving himself to be a fool.

Ryan should heed Proverbs 17:28 as well as Trump.

The King James Version is "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding."

The New International Version: "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue."

To be sure, Team Clinton and the liberal media loved Ryan's baseless attack on Trump (in which Ryan at least made himself seem untainted by racism).

The problems for Ryan are that Trump's comments about Judge Curiel were NOT racist, much less a textbook example of a racist comment, and that Trump is the new head of the Republican Party.

A check of Judge Curiel's background easily explains why Trump believed that Judge Curiel's Mexican heritage and attitude toward immigration affected his rulings in the case.

Maybe Trump is right about that.

Maybe Trump is wrong about that.

Maybe he's wrong that the case should have been summarily dismissed and right that case documents should not have been made public before the trial at the request of the Washington Post.

Regardless, it was NOT racist of Trump to suspect racism had tainted some of Judge Curiel's rulings.

Judges are human and may not always act impartially.

As now Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said: "National origins may and will make a difference in our judging."

That should not be so, but it is.

I commend Justice Sotomayor for admitting it and those who condemn Trump for inferring that Judge Curiel's ethnic heritage explains some of his rulings in the Trump University case are, in Trump's opinion, wrong.

Those who condemn Trump's inference against Judge Curiel should read "Hinkle: Trump and the Sotomayor Defense" (www.richmond.com/opinion/our-opinion/bart-hinkle/article_e51856f8-3201-5460-b1e8-569f4a5f2d49.html).

Hinkle wrote memorably:

"You might also recall that after Justice Sotomayor's nomination some controversy percolated over her own views on this topic. A few years before, she had said in a speech that she hoped a 'wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life.'

"This wasn't the only thing Ms. Sotomayor said, though.

"She also held that 'our experiences as women and people of color affect our decisions.'

"And: The 'aspiration to impartiality ... denies the fact that we are by our experiences making different choices than others.'

"And: 'Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences ... our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.'

"And: 'We may have different perspectives, either as some theorists suggest because of our cultural experiences or as others postulate because we have basic differences in logic and reasoning.'

"And: 'A difference there will be by the presence of women and people of color on the bench. Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see.'

"And a lot more along those same lines."

Justice Sotomayor, a Latina, is entitled to her perception of judging. Trump, a white man, is entitled to share her perception without being condemned as racist for agreeing with her.

Carol Sefick, a lady from East Meadow, New York who DOES NOT support Trump, exquisitely explained the foolish Ryan's fallacy in a short letter to the editor published in Newsday on June 17.

Ms. Sefick wrote:

"I am not a Donald Trump supporter and Judge Gonzalo appears to be an excellent jurist ['Zeldon's view,' News, June 8]. However, it's disingenuous for the news media and politicians to be shocked by Trump's claim that a judge might be biased because of his ethnicity or religion.

"The judiciary has always acknowledged the possibility that bias might taint its proceedings. Every day in courtroom all over America, jurors are selected or dismissed based on their gender, race, ethnicity, age or religion – and no one thinks twice about it.

"Judges recognize the influence of bias when they recuse themselves from court cases. In fact, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor herself has remarked often about the influence her Latin background has had on her court decisions, which, by the way, Democrats applaud and Republicans criticize.

"No political issue is ever as clear-cut as the media and politicians would like it to be, especially in today's heated climate."

Bravo, Ms. Sefick!

What IS clear-cut is that only either Trump or Clinton will win and by condemning a reasonable suspicion of Trump as racist, Ryan, the highest elected Republican in the federal government, helped Clinton by wrongly defaming Trump.

© Michael Gaynor

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)

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