Update! Sen. Tim Scott says “NO”! Farr’s nomination is done (for now…)
Scott based his decision on a recently obtained 1991 Department of Justice memo , which delineated Farr’s involvement in “ballot security” postcard mailings that targeted minority voters in both the 1984 and 1990 campaigns of then-Sen. Jesse Helms, (R-NC). The memo contradicted Farr’s denial to Sen. Feinstein at his nomination hearing that he hadn’t consulted with the campaign in 1990 on this issue and detailed his primary coordination role in the 1984 “ballot security” postcard program designed to challenge black voters at the polls.
Trump would have to renominate Farr in 2019 for him to be considered again. However, Republicans will hold a 53-47 edge in the Senate beginning in January, so we may see this guy again…Go ahead and tell your GOP senators that we expect them to do better than this.
The vote was scheduled for noon today, but shortly after 11 a.m., it was moved to next week due to the absence of Sen. James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican. This indicates that Mitch McConnell has calculated that there is little or no margin for error.
Let’s give ol’ Mitch a holiday surprise! Stand indivisible with the NAACP, Repairers of the Breach, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Alliance for Justice, People for the American Way and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Action – LIGHT UP GOP SENATORS’ PHONE LINES! Network with friends and family in GOP states to stop Thomas Farr’s nomination!
All the Senate Democrats are already committed to voting against Thomas Farr for US District Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina. You can call or email to thank your Democratic senators and give them support.
So it’s up to your family and friends living under GOP rule to stop him. Ask them to call and email their senator’s office repeatedly over the next few days. Ask them to flood them with calls. It works! Simple script below…
Minimal Script: I’m calling from [zip code]. I would like the Senator [___] to oppose the seating of Thomas Farr to a seat on any U.S. District Court.
Here are all the senators’ contact info.organized alphabetically by state: here.
Biggest targets: Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), his friend Sen. Mrco Rubio ((R-FL). Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Lisa Murkoswki (R-AK), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)
Do your friends and family think direct calls are ineffective? Do they need encouragement? Send them this.
This man, who the Rev. William J. Barber described in TIME magazine as “moral poison“, passed through the GOP-dominated Senate Judiciary Committee and is heading to the floor. He has misspent almost 40 years of his life aiding and abetting the fight to block full citizenship for all Americans.
“We will have to repent in this generation,” Dr. Martin Luther King wrote from an Alabama jail, “not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people… but for the appalling silence of the good people.” (Click here while your coffeemaker is working, for the list of six Republican supporters who decided to “honor” MLK Day on Twitter while voting to support Farr’s nomination to a lifetime seat on the federal bench.)
Thomas Alvin Farr has focused his legal career on disenfranchising voters of color and attacking workers’ rights. North Carolina Republicans call him when they need to dilute African-American votes and implement laws aimed at Black voters with “almost surgical precision.” For the last three decades, he represented the campaign of the ultraconservative Senator Jesse Helms at a time when the campaign was accused of intimidating black voters. (Don’t remember this? – read the horrifying things they did here.) Indeed, the courts have rebuked Farr’s most recent voting rights cases. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., described Farr as “probably the worst of the litter” when it comes to Trump’s judicial nominees. “Could this administration have picked an individual who is more hostile to the rights of minorities than this man? It is hard to imagine,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said in the same committee hearing.
He routinely represents corporations that discriminate against both customers and workers. He defended Avis when outlets in North and South Carolina denied African Americans the right to rent cars on the same terms as white customers (Really?!? Avis, try harder!). He supported a North Carolina bill that prevented women who were discriminated against, or who were victims of workplace sexual harassment, from filing a lawsuit in state court, calling it a “better policy for the state.” He has also fought against workers’ efforts to unionize and was a staff attorney at the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which has deep ties to the Koch brothers and was described by The Center for Media and Democracy as “a national leader in the effort to destroy public and private sector unions.”
Farr’s nomination is especially insulting because it’s for the nation’s longest judicial vacancy, the seat on the Eastern NC District Court that was denied to two highly-qualified African-American female nominees who Sen. Burr blocked from receiving a hearing. In fact, of the 48 people he’s nominated to appellate courts, none are black or Latino. Thirty-nine of them are men. Eighty percent come from the far-right Federalist Society, though only 4 percent of the nation’s lawyers are members. Thomas Farr has been a member since 1985.