June 7, 2016

Megyn Kelly has her moments of clarity, that is, until the brass at Fox 'News' decide to rein her in and resume the deferential position with regards to the Republican nominee, Donald Trump. Perhaps because she has plenty of company in her disavowal of Trump's inflammatory comments with regards to Judge Gonzalo Curiél's ethnicity does she feel comfortable, once again, butting heads with Trump. Or maybe, as many have suggested, she's aiming for the exits as her contract with Fox expires.

Megyn sounds sympathetic to the plaintiffs here, in contrast to Bill O'Reilly's flippant dismissal of these unfortunate victims. O'Reilly calls it the 'disenchantment of a few Trump U. clients,' as if this shouldn't be considered a big deal, it's only their life's savings, right? On the other hand, Megyn surprisingly seems almost reasonable:

"...They filed a class action lawsuit alleging that they were bilked out of their hard earned money and their retirement savings. These people were cops, vets, retirees; not rich people. Mr. Trump has tried repeatedly to get this case dismissed. He has been unsuccessful. Some have suggested that there's a political component to this case because the law firm representing the plaintiffs, one of them, has paid Bill and Hillary Clinton for speeches. However, the case against Trump University was filed in April 2010, long before Trump was a politician and even a full year before he demanded to see President Obama's birth certificate.

So Trump was up to no good long before he went full Birther on the President, so this insanely awful behavior is nothing new.

Furthermore, as an attorney, Kelly understands the ramifications of allowing the ethnicity of a judge to be called into question. What if it became commonplace that plaintiffs or defendants used public attacks on the ethnicity of a judge to help their case? Kelly's right. This cannot become precedent.

And Kelly not-too-subtly warns Trump that there are greater consequences than an election here. Trump could eventually be found in contempt of court:

KELLY: Judges must indeed avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest, but litigants do not get to create that appearance by vocally complaining about the judge. Any litigant who moved to disqualify a judge based on his heritage would be actually sanctioned -- punished -- by any court and it's happened in the past, rightfully. Moreover if a litigant making a stink about a judge necessarily resulted in a conflict that would force a judge to step down, it would lead to chaos in our court system. It would prejudice the other party who’s not complaining or taking their licks. And it would lead to more parties throwing fits in order to bounce judges off the case whose rulings they do not like. Simply put this is not the way our system was designed to work.

Clearly, Kelly is more interested in this issue as a legal exercise than as a political argument. But Trump has crossed the line into contempt of court so blatantly that anyone with legal experience has to react as she has.

Let's hope she doesn't follow up this moment of reason with another simpering softball interview. Enough is enough, Donald Trump, and Megyn Kelly should stick to her solid defense of the legal system for the sake of her career if nothing else.

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