"WASHINGTON - A federal judge in California who Donald Trump once derided for his ethnicity will hear a case Friday that could determine the president’s latitude to waive environmental laws, paving the way for his 'big, beautiful' border wall.
The judge is the U.S. District Court’s Gonzalo Curiel, whom Trump berated during the 2016 campaign for his handling of a lawsuit involving Trump University. Trump called the San Diego jurist a 'hater' and a 'Mexican' who disliked Trump because of his strong border stands, even though Curiel was born in the United States and built his reputation prosecuting cross-border drug crimes.
Curiel never publicly responded to Trump’s taunts, and colleagues say he has a record of impartiality that will guide his handling of the case. Still, the litigation is sure to put Curiel in the spotlight again and the outcome will be closely watched by border wall opponents and advocates, including the president himself."