Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Pitiless Gaze of a Would-Be Trump Judge in NC

Thomas Alvin Farr. Photo Alex Brandon, AP
Thomas Farr, a Raleigh attorney with a voter suppression history, has been nominated by Trump to be a Federal district judge. This particular judgeship has been vacant for 11 years because Sen. Dick Burr blocked two different Obama nominees because they were black.

Farr was lead counsel for the Sen. Jesse Helms reelection campaign in 1990 when he was being challenged by former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt, a black man.

According to former U.S. Attorney Gerald Hebert, who was a Department of Justice investigator in 1990, Farr was involved in a campaign plot during the Helms v. Gantt election to send 100,000 postcards to registered black voters alleging they were ineligible to vote and would be prosecuted if they tried. Gantt lost to Helms by a narrow margin (though Gantt carried Watauga County by a thousand votes).

Farr has denied that he knew anything about the voter intimidation scheme until after it happened, and that denial helped him win approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Farr is still awaiting approval by the full Senate. Both Dick Burr and Sen. Thom Tillis support him.

NewsandObserver reporter Thomas Goldsmith, who first broke the story of Farr's involvement in the intimidation back in 2009 (on the front page), is back today in The Weekly Independent, digging into Farr's attempt to mislead the Senate Judiciary Committee about his past.

"There's certainly a clear discrepancy between what Mr. Farr testified to under oath to the committee and what has and will be reported about his activities with Helms regarding voter suppression," said Nan Aron, president of the Alliance for Justice.

What's another lifetime appointment to the Federal bench? Oh, just another termite being given access to the floor joists.

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