DURHAM, N.C. (1/18/2018) — On Thursday, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee confirmed Thomas Farr to a lifetime judicial appointment to the federal bench in eastern North Carolina.
In response to the party-line vote, Tomas Lopez, Democracy North Carolina Executive Director, released the following statement:
“We are deeply upset and disappointed that the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has advanced Thomas Farr’s nomination to a lifetime judicial appointment in eastern North Carolina.”
“We must ensure that the courts protect voting rights for African Americans and every North Carolinian, but Mr. Farr’s long track record has tangibly damaged our democracy through voting restrictions and racial gerrymandering. His track record should be disqualifying.”
In November 2017, Democracy North Carolina joined the North Carolina NAACP and other community-based leaders in a letter to the U.S. Senate asking the members to oppose Farr’s nomination. In the letter, the groups reiterated Farr’s “historical role in preventing access to the vote for North Carolina’s citizens” and that “it would be difficult to find an attorney in North Carolina whose career is more closely associated with attacks on the rights of vulnerable citizens.”
Thomas Farr has devoted much of his four-decade legal career to restricting the voting rights of Black North Carolinians. Farr is famous for defending GOP mailers aimed at intimidating Black voters during Jesse Helms’ 1992 campaign. He is currently the chief attorney for the NC GOP’s effort to disenfranchise voters of color, students, and the poor.
Farr’s nomination is especially insulting because it’s for the long-vacant seat that was denied to two highly-qualified African-American female nominees who Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) blocked from receiving a hearing.