With North Carolina’s Thom Tillis leading the way (including making arrangements for a couple of his fellow Republicans to run in at the last minute for the vote) the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee approved North Carolina arch-conservative Thomas Farr this morning to serve as a federal judge in the state’s Eastern District. The vote was by a partisan count of 11-9.
Farr’s nomination has been decried by national civil rights organizations as “repugnant” and “the culmination of a white supremacist political machine.” Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and former head of the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, put it this way:
“Mr. Farr has devoted much of his 38-year legal career to restricting voting rights and defending employment discrimination. As the Congressional Black Caucus wrote in a letter last month opposing Mr. Farr’s nomination: ‘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.’ The judicial vacancy to which Mr. Farr has been nominated has never had an African-American judge in its 143-year history. President Obama nominated two highly qualified African-American women for this judgeship, but they were blocked by Republican senators. It is now the oldest judicial vacancy in the country.”