“The comments made by Trump have been misleading, blatant lies and even racist in nature,” said the organization’s president, Luis O. Osuna. “We call on other bar associations to join us in denouncing Trump’s comments and demand that he retract his remarks.”
The group issued a three-page statement statement “to clarify who we are as an association, our purpose and the abject impropriety of Trump’s criticism of Judge (Gonzalo) Curiel and his attacks on the independence of the judiciary.”
Beginning at a rally in San Diego, Trump has repeatedly claimed that the U.S. district judge is handling a civil suit against Trump University in a “hostile manner” because his parents were from Mexico and he is a member of “a club or society which is very strongly pro-Mexican.” Supporters amplified this claim on national talk shows.
Osuna said the organization is “is a local diversity bar association whose reputation among the San Diego legal community is highly regarded,” adding that the membership of 300 includes “conservatives, liberals, Republicans, Democrats and Latinos and non-Latinos alike.”
He said the organization sponsors professional development seminars, networking events, mentorship programs and awards scholarships and bar stipends to law students of all ethnic backgrounds.
“Contrary to what Trump has stated, we are not affiliated with the National Council of La Raza,” he said. “SDLRLA has not been involved in organizing any Trump protests, nor do we work in conjunction with NCLR…Our association is committed to effecting change through lawful means and firmly believes that violence only serves to undercut otherwise legitimate concerns.”
Osuna noted that the judicial code of conduct does not allow Curiel to respond to Trump’s attacks.
“As fellow members of the professional legal community, it is incumbent upon us to defend Judge Curiel’s unimpeachable integrity,” Osuna said, “and to highlight the dangers of such criticism of a federal judge by a presumptive presidential nominee.”
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