President Donald Trump announced today that he plans to nominate local GOP attorney Thomas Farr to fill the nation’s longest running federal judicial vacancy, located in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
The federal judgeship has been vacant for over 11 years and long been referred to as a judicial emergency. Former President Barack Obama nominated two different women to fill the vacancy and N.C. Sen. Richard Burr blocked both nominations.
Here’s Trump’s announcement about Farr:
“If confirmed, Thomas Alvin Farr of North Carolina, will serve as a District Judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Tom Farr is currently a shareholder in the Raleigh office of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., where his practice focuses on employment matters and constitutional law. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Farr was an attorney with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and counsel to the U.S. Senate and Labor Human Resources Committee. Mr. Farr also served as a law clerk to Judge Frank W. Bullock, Jr., of the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. He received his B.L.S., summa cum laude, from Hillsdale College, where he was co-salutatorian. He received his J.D. from Emory University and an L.L.M. in labor law from Georgetown University.”
Farr was nominated to fill the same vacant seat in 2006 by President George W. Bush but never got a vote from the Senate.
A Raleigh based attorney, Farr frequently represents the state’s Republican party in voting rights cases. He has been lead counsel for the GOP in redistricting cases and in the voter identification law challenge.
Obama had nominated both Jennifer May-Parker, the Chief of the Appellate Division at the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of North Carolina, and Patricia Timmons-Goodson, a former state Supreme Court justice and vice chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. If either had gotten the judgeship, they would have been the first federal judges of color in North Carolina history for years.