As the Republican National Convention kicks off this summer, political mavens will be focused on the maneuvering in Cleveland, but it might be worth keeping an eye on happenings some 2000 miles away in a federal courtroom in San Diego.
A federal judge announced this week that on the first day of that convention he plans to convene an important hearing on a class-action lawsuit against Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump and his Trump University real estate seminar program.
U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel issued an order Monday setting the July 18 hearing on a move by Trump’s lawyers to toss out the Cohen v. Trump case. The judge also plans to take up other motions, including one asking that the case be stripped of its class-action status.
In a series of public appearances in February, Trump said Curiel seemed to be biased against him because the judge “happens to be Spanish” and could be expected to disagree with Trump’s strong statements against illegal immigration. The real estate mogul said he might move to disqualify Curiel, but no such motion has been made and Trump’s attorney did not raise any issues about the judge during a hearing last month. (Curiel, who was born in Indiana, is of Latino origin.)
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