Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) suggested Wednesday that Donald Trump’s attacks on a federal judge’s “Mexican heritage” were no different from a comment Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor often makes referring to herself as a “wise Latina.”
Grassley had said Tuesday that he disagreed with Trump questioning whether U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel could fairly preside over cases against Trump University due to his “Mexican heritage,” insisting that “you can’t have a religious or ethnic test to be a judge in America.”
The judiciary chair took a slightly different tack in a conference call with the Des Moines Register, where he quoted Sonia Sotomayor saying in a 2001 speech that she hoped a “wise Latina woman,” based on her life experiences, would judge cases better than a white man.
“I think that you don’t have any more trouble with what Trump said than when Sotomayor said that — when she was found saying in speeches that, quote, ‘a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male,'” Grassley said. “I don’t hear any criticism of that sort of comment by as justice of the Supreme Court.”
Trump surrogate and CNN fixture Jeffrey Lord also compared Trump’s attacks on Curiel to Sotomayor’s “wise Latina” remark in a post for The American Spectator earlier this week. Lord said it was “shameful” for Trump to be criticized for the attacks on Curiel, although he argued that reaction was “totally in character for the GOP Leadership in Congress that long ago abandoned principle for political correctness.”
For his part, Grassley has said he will support the GOP nominee and has faith in Trump picking a good nominee for the Supreme Court vacancy.