FOCUS: Social Justice, Judicial Branch
GOAL: Stop the appointment of U.S. District Court nominee Thomas Farr
DEADLINE: ASAP (Senate vote not yet scheduled)
Thomas Farr is the president’s choice for a lifetime seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. On October 19th, Farr cleared a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee, advancing him one step closer to fulfilling the president’s plans for him. The next step is a confirmation vote in the full Senate, but a date has not yet been set.
The issue at hand is Farr’s consistently and abhorrently discriminatory record. Civil rights groups and the Congressional Black Caucus have been outspoken against Farr’s nomination based on the judge having spent much of his last forty years involved in what appears to be a very focused and intentional effort to restrict voting rights, specifically from people of color.
According to an article in the Huffington Post:
But civil rights leaders say Farr is one of the worst federal court nominees they’ve ever seen.
“It is no exaggeration to say that had the White House deliberately sought to identify an attorney in North Carolina with a more hostile record on African- American voting rights and workers’ rights than Thomas Farr, it could hardly have done so,” reads a letter to senators signed by members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
William Barber, president of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, said there’s no reason to think Farr will be an independent voice on the bench, given how aggressively he’s fought against voter protections.
“Thomas Farr has been the lead attorney in attacking every modern effort in North Carolina to empower the state’s African American voters; and in most cases, he has been a public architect of the regressive and discriminatory backlash,” Barber wrote to senators.
This man is clearly not someone who should have a hand in shaping the future of voting or any other American institution.
In addition to Farr’s terrible record, there is the issue of the president issuing an Executive Order in March to change the order of succession for the DOJ so that the first line is eastern district of VA and the second line is eastern district of NC. The president could issue another order to change the order again. This order of succession is invoked when someone is no longer able to do their job. Some people are concerned that there may be some ulterior motives to undermine the Russia investigation being led by Robert Mueller.
Bottom line: Nothing good will come out of Farr getting that seat on the federal bench.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Call your Senators
- Spread the word about this and encourage your friends and family in other states to call their Senators
TO REACH YOUR MOCs:
1. Reach MOCs via the Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
2. Look up your elected senators and reps.
3. Use Faxzero to send free faxes from your computer to your Senator or Congressperson.
4. Use Resistbot to send faxes to your senators right from your phone: Text the word “RESIST” to 50409.
ADDITIONAL READING & INFO:
- Letter from leaders of Civilrights.org to Oppose the Confirmation of Thomas Farr to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
Watch Ari Berman Explain How Voter Suppression Handed Wisconsin to Trump – He also breaks down Thomas Farr’s history of defending voter ID laws.