James Thomas made the statements while questioning a potential juror, The Detroit News reported. The black woman suggested she believes black politicians are treated more harshly by investigators and courts than whites.
U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds quickly halted Thomas when he said the defense plans "to challenge the way they did the investigation" and "the tools this powerful government" used. She held a short conference with lawyers in her chambers.
Kilpatrick; his father, Bernard; Victor Mercado, formerly head of the city's water department; and Bobby Ferguson, a longtime friend of the mayor who had contracts with the city, have been charged with bribery and corruption.
By late Friday morning, the jury pool held 51 people. Next week, 12 jurors and six alternates will be selected from the pool.