NC NAACP Ready to Fight Again if GOP Renominates Farr
By CASH MICHAELS
The president of the NCNAACP vows that if President Trump re-nominates Raleigh attorney Thomas Farr to become a federal judge in North Carolina’s Eastern District, that the civil rights group will be right back in the fight to defeat his U.S. Senate confirmation once again.
Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the NCNAACP, was responding to reports that now, with South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham, one of Pres. Trump’s most loyal Republican supporters, now the new chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, recent published reports say he’s met with the White House recently to cover a list of Trump’s judicial nominees who were not taken up by the Republican-led Senate for confirmation in the 115th Congress.
Farr, a former campaign attorney for racial segregationist Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) who is documented to have coordinated a so-called “ballot security” program for the Helms campaign against Black Democratic voters in the 1980s and 90s, was nominated by Trump in 2017, and had his nomination voted out by the Senate Judiciary Committee in early 2018, only to have it temporarily shelved before going to the full Senate before the midterms.
After the November midterms, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell scheduled Farr’s confirmation, only to have a damaging Washington Post piece expose Farr’s role in the Helm’s campaign ballot security scheme exposed, followed by members of the NCNAACP, led by Dr. Spearman, to go to Washington, D.C. and lobby vigorously against it.
One of the several Republican senators they lobbied was Tim Scott of South Carolina, the Senate’s only Black GOP member. Ultimately it was Scott, along with the outgoing Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who announced they would not vote to confirm Farr, thus crippling Farr’s chances of passage because the GOP slim majority had eroded.
But Republicans in the Senate did very during the midterms, padding their number to 53 to 47 Democrats, meaning that at least four Republicans would have to buck Farr’s re-nomination in the new Congress.
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), strongly supported attorney Farr before, and says he would do it again.
“We’re looking at it right now,” Tillis told McClatchy [Newspapers] last week. That is not something that Dr. Spearman is pleased to hear.
“In light of recent events, the possibility of Tillis and (NC Sen. Richard) Burr resurrecting Farr's nomination is certainly viable, especially with Graham's urging,” the NCNAACP leader said. “However, this would fly in the face of the only seated African American [Republican] senator [Scott] whose broken silence is speaking powerful truths.”
“Will the Republicans declare themselves outright racists?” Dr. Spearman continued, asking rhetorically? “If so, the NC NAACP will not stand down. We will stand strong and endure.”
The Eastern Judicial District is where at least 30 percent of North Carolina’s Black population resides, yet an African-American judge has never presided over federal court there in its 145-year history.
Dr. Spearman, along with other civil rights leaders, say it would be a mockery to have someone with Attorney Farr’s reported racial history – which includes defending the NCGOP’s racial gerrymandering and voter ID laws – serve a lifetime appointment to the bench there.