Over at Politico, reporters Burgess Everett and Seung Min Kim have assembled a sizable list of comments from Republican senators who are “concerned about the tone” of Donald Trump’s campaign. In particular, these senators are appalled at the way Trump has gone after Judge Gonzalo Curiel. To be sure, some of these senators are primarily worried about how this might impact their reelection efforts, and one of them, Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, is in charge of the overall efforts of the Republican National Senatorial Committee. Still, it’s encouraging to see that there still remains some kind of racial line that you cannot cross, even in Republican politics.
Of course, it presents a bit of an optical problem that the Senate Republicans are refusing to hold a hearing for President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, on the theory that the people should have the opportunity to decide whether or not Trump should fill the vacancy instead. Trump has said that Mexican Americans and Muslims cannot be impartial judges, which is classic definitional racism and religiously bigotry. It’s hard to defend legally or constitutionally, as this would ordinarily be considered a religious test and a violation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. To be precise, if Trump refused to consider Mexican-Americans or Muslims for federal judgeships, that would be against the law. Of course, proving in court that Trump had discriminated would be difficult, but it’s now a safe assumption that he would.