Federal Judge, Once A Target Of Trump, Talks Racial Relations At Hispanic Heritage Event

Oct 6, 2017

Curiel was raised in Northern Indiana, and is an alumni of IU's Maurer School of Law in Bloomington. (Photo by Drew Daudelin)

An Indiana-native federal judge caught up in a controversy with Donald Trump last year spoke Friday at the federal court’s Hispanic Heritage Month event in Indianapolis.

Gonzalo Curiel rose to national prominence last summer, when then-presidential candidate Donald Trump repeatedly said the judge’s Mexican heritage was a source of bias against Trump in a court ruling.

Curiel did not address the president’s remarks or Trump himself in Friday’s speech. But he says despite living in a divisive time, he feels optimistic about the future of racial relations in America.

He talked about visiting a diverse bilingual program at a local elementary school.

“There were brown kids, there were white kids, there were black kids...there were poor kids, there were rich kids. And they were all together. They were learning together, no one was better than anyone,” Curiel says.

Curiel was raised in Northern Indiana, and is an alumni of IU's Maurer School of Law in Bloomington.

He serves now as U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of California.