Commentary, News

LGBTQ advocates blast Trump nominee for NC federal court seat

In case you missed this earlier today, yet another prominent national voices has stepped up to oppose President Trump’s nomination of Raleigh lawyer Thomas Farr to serve as a federal judge in North Carolina’s Eastern District. Here’s the statement:

Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, sent a letter to senators urging them to oppose Donald Trump’s nomination of Thomas Farr to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

“Thomas Farr’s long career undermining the fundamental rights to vote raises concerns about his ability to enforce equal treatment under the law, particularly for African Americans and other historically disenfranchised groups of Americans,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. “Farr’s nomination is another example of the Trump-Pence Administration’s attempt to impede progress towards equality by putting forth extreme and unqualified nominees to serve on our courts. The Senate must reject Farr and his callous disregard of the rights of millions of Americans to meaningfully participate in the political process.”

HRC will join numerous civil rights groups, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, for a rally in front of the Supreme Court to highlight the terrible records of Thomas Farr and Kyle Duncan.

Thomas Farr’s shameful track record includes defending North Carolina’s voter suppression law and representing Jesse Helms’ Senate campaign — notorious for their racist tactics to intimidate and disenfranchise African American voters. According to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, “Mr. Farr has developed a niche legal practice defending discriminatory electoral laws that make it harder for African Americans to participate in our democracy.” Throughout his career, Farr has also defended employers who were charged with employment discrimination and resisted efforts to create safe working conditions for their employees.

HRC previously joined the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in calling for the committee to hold additional hearings after it was discovered that Farr failed to provide full and accurate testimony to the Committee.

Thomas Farr’s nomination is part of a larger trend of the Trump-Pence Administration naming extreme and unqualified nominees to serve on the bench — some of whom will serve lifetime appointments. HRC has opposed several anti-LGBTQ nominees including Gordon Giampietro, Howard Nielson, Kyle Duncan, Matthew Kacsmaryk, and Mark Norris. Last year, anti-LGBTQ nominees Jeff Mateer, Stephen Schwartz, and Damien Schiff were defeated following months of opposition from HRC and coalition partners.

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