Commentary, Defending Democracy

Did Thomas Farr mislead the Senate Judiciary Committee? Calls mount for full explanation

The editorial page of the Washington Post is calling for another look at Thomas Farr, the controversial right-wing Raleigh lawyer nominated by Donald Trump to serve a lifetime appointment as federal judge in North Carolina’s Eastern District. In yesterday’s editorial (“The Senate is rushing through Trump’s judicial nominees. These embarrassments prove it.”) the Post lists several of Trump’s outrageously unqualified nominees for the federal bench , praises the work of republican senator John Kennedy of Louisiana in challenging some of them, and then concludes like this:

“We hope that Mr. Kennedy continues to hold nominees to the high professional standard appropriate for a lifetime appointment — and that his Republican colleagues, including [Iowa senator and committee chair Charles] Grassley, share that commitment. The committee can start by calling back Thomas Farr, the nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, to explain discrepancies regarding his knowledge of a voter-suppression effort by then-Sen. Jesse Helms’s 1990 campaign.” (Emphasis supplied.)

Those discrepancies in Farr’s testimony were the subject of a pair of letters sent last week by New Jersey senator Cory Booker to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Farr himself demanding a full explanation of Farr’s role in the infamous voter suppression tactics of the 1990 Jesse Helms senate campaign. Click here and here to read Booker’s demands.

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