Fumo’s baseless attacks reflect badly on him | EDITORIAL


Even for the hectic world of politics, attorney Ozzie Fumo’s flippant slander of a former political foe and sitting judge is beyond pallor.

Last year, Mr. Fumo, who previously sat in the assembly, ran to the Nevada Supreme Court. Voters wisely chose Douglas Herndon instead. Mr. Fumo is now a candidate for the post of Clark County District Attorney.

The Review-Journal obtained a video last month of Mr. Fumo speaking at a panel hosted by the UNLV Black Law Students Association. During the discussion, he referred to an incident in 2016 when Mr Herndon was a district court judge. Mr Herndon told Erika Ballou, who was then a public lawyer, to remove a Black Lives Matter pin when she was in her courtroom.

She walked “into a courtroom of someone I considered a white supremacist,” Mr. Fumo said.

Mr. Fumo doubled down on his comment when asked about it. “Kind of like he’s walking like a duck and quacking like a duck,” he said.

This toxic load is nothing less than an attempt to ruin someone’s professional career and personal reputation. If a Supreme Court judge did show clear racist behavior, one would expect an early impeachment.

Justice Herndon vigorously defended himself. He pointed out that the US Supreme Court precedent gives judges the power to remove political symbols from their courtrooms. “As a judge, it’s not your job to be the activist,” he said. “It’s your job to just follow the law in the courtroom. “

Judge Herndon said the charge was “arguably libelous”. This can be a difficult case to argue in a courtroom, but it is true in the colloquial sense. An unsubstantiated claim to white supremacy should generate a level of outrage similar to finding someone holds such beliefs.

Phantom accusations of racism appear to be part of Mr Fumo’s campaign strategy. Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson also condemned Mr. Fumo’s comments. Mr. Fumo attacked Mr. Wolfson for failing to recognize “institutional racism” in the justice system. He suggested that Mr. Wolfson was comparable to the “District Attorney of Selma, Alabama, in 1963”.

Applying a neutral standard is not institutional racism. It is a fundamental principle of our justice system.

Mr Fumo appears to be trying to gain support from local progressives by casually launching allegations of racism to prove he will walk the path of enlightenment. The last DA race was decided in the Democratic primary, with Mr Wolfson facing a challenge from his left.

In this case, however, Mr. Fumo displayed extremely poor judgment. His reckless and scattered attacks send a clear message to voters that he is unfit for the post of prosecutor.


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