The controversial nomination of conservative lawyer Thomas Farr to fill the longstanding vacancy on the U.S. District Court for North Carolina’s Eastern District continues. The nomination actually lapsed at the end of 2017 (along with several others) because the Senate never got around to confirming Farr. Now, however, President Trump has renominated Farr and most of the other problematic nominees he had submitted in 2017.
Trump’s action drew immediate and scathing criticism from civil rights groups.
This is from People for the American Way:
“It’s disappointing that the White House has chosen to send back to the Senate so many unqualified nominees who simply should not be confirmed….
The nomination of Thomas Farr is exhibit A. Last year Grassley and Republican senators whisked him onto the Senate floor, only to learn that he had lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee about his involvement in a notorious campaign designed to intimidate Black voters in North Carolina. He should not have been re-nominated in the first place. But allowing a nominee like Farr to head back to the Senate floor without a full and open hearing would be, frankly, pathetic.” (Emphasis supplied.)
This is from the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights:
“With the new year, President Trump had an opportunity to start with a clean slate when it came to his troubling judicial nominees. Instead, he’s sending back unqualified and biased nominees. The American people deserve judges who have the experience, impartiality, and commitment to equal justice necessary to serve lifetime appointments on the federal bench….
One individual who is being renominated should, at the very least, require another hearing if senators on the committee are taking their vetting seriously: Thomas Farr. After his hearing, information came to light that strongly suggests that he misled the committee about his involvement in the Jesse Helms for Senate campaign’s intimidation of Black voters. Senators must demand more information from both the nominee and the Justice Department to determine Farr’s veracity under oath and his involvement in this nefarious conduct.
We urge the Senate to assert its constitutionally assigned role in the judicial nomination process. Leader McConnell and Chairman Grassley must stop serving as rubber stamps for President Trump’s right-wing court-packing plan. Too many of Trump’s nominees are unfit to serve lifetime appointments on the federal judiciary. Our courts, and our country, deserve better.” (Emphasis supplied.)
And this is from the Alliance for Justice:
“The White House is kicking off 2018 by reviving several judicial nominations that should have been left behind along with the old year. They include Thomas Farr, who may have misrepresented his participation in Jesse Helms’s scheme to intimidate black voters in North Carolina; Matthew Kacsmaryk, a virulently anti-LGBTQ activist; and the ‘Hobby Lobby lawyer’ Kyle Duncan, responsible for undermining healthcare for women workers. In Farr’s case in particular, the revelations that have emerged since his confirmation hearing are so troubling that there is no way his nomination should proceed without, at a minimum, a completely new hearing. The Senate should not move forward on this renominations list without carefully considering the lessons of 2017, when three nominees were forced out of the running because of their extreme positions and lack of credentials. That experience showed conclusively that the White House’s picks for federal judgeships deserve much closer scrutiny than they’ve been getting.” (Emphasis supplied.)