An unidentified judge told a local legal publication they view Gascón as part of “the Soros strategy to destabilize the United States city by city.”
A Los Angeles judge embraced a deeply fringe, detached, and disturbing antisemitic conspiracy theory when discussing the county’s new District Attorney, George Gascón, in a story published by the Metropolitan News-Enterprise yesterday.
“While he claims that his policies are based on data, science, etc., I have not seen any disclosure of such information and think it is highly likely they are based on the Soros strategy and objective to destabilize the United States city by city,” this person, who Metnews identified only as “a judge,” said.
This followed the remark: “I don’t think voters appreciated the impact of his policies nor how they had also left San Francisco in a societal crisis. This lack of appreciation is one of the reasons that Soros has focused on local elections for mayors and district attorneys as those elections simply do not receive the close attention that higher offices do.”
George Soros is a frequent target of antisemitic bigotry and delusion. His name functions as something of a shibboleth among right-wing conspiracists who believe in, or seek to profit from others’ belief in, the myth of Jewish world control. It appears regularly in the fever swamp of QAnon adherents.
According to the opinion research company Zignal Labs, who studied disinformation campaigns this summer, the most widely spread conspiracy theory following the George Floyd protests held that that Floyd’s death was faked. The second-most held that Soros was funding or otherwise “behind” the protests.
Even on Fox News, this invocation of his name is correctly understood as dangerous and indefensible. In a September appearance, Newt Gingrich was immediately cut off by a Fox News anchor upon claiming that the “number one problem in almost all the cities” is “Soros-funded district attorneys.”
“I don’t think we need to bring George Soros into this,” the host said, before wrapping the segment.
That this judge felt comfortable sharing this opinion — for publication — raises deeply disturbing questions about the degree to which this kind of worldview has metastasized in the Los Angeles legal community. In 2018, Michele Hanisee, the President of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys, published a blog post decrying “Soros backed [sic] DAs” and “George Soros’attempts [sic] to buy the justice system.”
While the source of the quote is not identified specifically as a judge presiding in Los Angeles, Metnews is understood to be specifically of and for the Los Angeles legal community. The paper, which provides summary coverage of rulings and other legal developments, has a reputation for serving as a mouthpiece for anonymous opinion from within said community.