Gonzalo Curiel will hear the case of Juan Manuel Montes, a former "Dreamer" who sued after being deported to Mexico.
Curiel was the judge then-candidate Donald Trump bashed for his "Mexican heritage," saying it disqualified him from judging his Trump University lawsuit fairly. Curiel was born in Indiana.
Trump's comments were widely criticized, and House Speaker Paul Ryan called them the "textbook definition of a racist comment."
Juan Manuel Montes Bojorquez was deported in February, marking what advocates say was the first deportation of a former DREAMer under Trump. Lawyers said he forgot his wallet in a friend's car and was pulled over and ultimately deported. He sued the federal government, and his lawyers have argued he has only a misdemeanor on his record, The Washington Post reports.
Curiel, initially appointed under President Obama, was assigned the case at random.
He handles many cases involving the United States government ... but I don't think legally there's much of an issue here.
University of California-Davis law school dean Kevin R. Johnson told NBC News he didn't expect Trump's comments to affect the case, given Curiel's track record as a judge.
The Trump University lawsuit was ultimately settled for $25 million in November.
Even though I have a very biased and unfair judge in the Trump U civil case in San Diego, I have thousands of great reviews & will win case!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 2, 2016
In 2016, Trump insisted Curiel was "very biased and unfair."
I have a judge in the Trump University civil case, Gonzalo Curiel (San Diego), who is very unfair. An Obama pick. Totally biased-hates Trump— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2016
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