Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the California federal jurist attacked by then presidential candidate Donald Trump, will be returning to his home state of Indiana to help commemorate the Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
The federal court will host the event at 2 p.m. Oct. 6 in the Sarah Evans Barker Courtroom at the Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Indianapolis. Jointly sponsored by the Southern District and the Indiana State Bar Association Latino Affairs Committee, the program is free and open to the public. Attorneys will be eligible for continuing legal education credit but pre-registration is required. Visit http://www.inbar.org/event/2017Curiel for more information.
Curiel gained national fame when Trump in 2016 questioned his abilities as a jurist and loyalties as an American. The attack came after the judge allowed lawsuits filed by former students against Trump University to proceed. On the campaign trail, Trump wrongly described Curiel as a Mexican and insinuated the judge was issuing biased rulings because Trump was taking a strong stance against immigration.
Curiel was born and raised in East Chicago, the youngest of four children of Salvador and Francisca Curiel, who immigrated from Mexico and became American citizens. He earned his J.D. degree at Indiana University Maurer School of Law then began his legal career working James James & Manning in Dyer. In 1986, he moved to California and continued in private practice until he became an assistant U.S. attorney in San Diego and Los Angeles.
From 2006 to 2012, he served as a San Diego Superior Court judge and in 2012, was nominated and confirmed as U.S. District judge for the Southern District of California.
At the October celebration, Curiel will be the featured speaker. He will talk about his journey from his childhood in northwest Indiana to his current position on the federal bench. He will also reflect on his parents, the opportunities his family had in America and the importance of diversity in our country as well as the role of the law in protecting our rights.