NC NAACP President Concerned about Trump’s New Pick for NC Court


August 26, 2019 12:30PM
Cash Michaels
Cash Michaels

After realizing that his initial pick for the federal judicial seat in North Carolina’s Eastern District, Raleigh Attorney Thomas Farr, will not be confirmed, Pres. Donald Trump has nominated a conservative UNC-Chapel Hill law school professor instead. And while both Republican North Carolina U.S. senators praise the choice, the president of the NC NAACP has expressed his concerns, and maybe gearing up to fight this nomination as well.

Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the NCNAACP called Professor Richard Myers, Trump’s new nominee announced just last week, a “…thoroughly good gopher for injustice.”

Rev. Spearman and others in the progressive movement are alarmed that in the past two and-a-half-years since Trump has taken office, the U.S. Senate, under the leadership of Republican Senate Majority leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), has confirmed over 160 nominees to the federal bench, including two to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Rev. Spearman
Rev. Spearman
Couple that with the fact that McConnell defiantly blocked several nominees from Democratic President Barack Obama while he was in office, and progressives like Spearman are geared up go fight every Trump nominee that is presented.

As of now, Professor Myers, a registered Republican, is on that list.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Myers’ family moved to Wilmington in his youth. Graduating from UNC-Wilmington, he worked as a reporter for a Wilmington newspaper 1991-95, and earned his law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1998, later joining the law school there.

Myers’ eventually clerked for conservative Judge David Sentelle on the D.C. Court of Appeals. Sentelle, a North Carolina native, according to NC NAACP President Spearman, had a close association with conservative U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), and was seen as a federal jurist conservatives could count on.

Myers also worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Justice Dept., focusing on white collar crime.

Richard Myers
Richard Myers
“I believe he will serve the Eastern District honorably, and I look forward to the Senate’s consideration of this well-qualified nominee,” Sen. Burr said in a statement. Sen. Tillis also lauded Myers.

“Professor Myers’ extensive experience serving in the Department of Justice prosecuting white collar and violent crime, as well as his well-deserved reputation as one of our state’s best legal scholars provide him with the background and qualifications required to serve the Eastern District with distinction. I look forward to advancing his nomination through the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

But Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-1) wants to know more about Myers.

“The Eastern District deserves diversity on the Federal bench,” Butterfield said in a statement. “There has never been an African American judge in the district despite having a minority population greater than 30%. President Obama attempted on two occasions to achieve racial diversity in the Eastern District, but on both occasions the nominations were blocked by Republican Senators.”

“I'm confident that President Trump consulted with Senator Burr and Senator Tillis prior to making this nomination,” Butterfield continued. “Our senators should have pushed for integrating the Court.

“I will use all available means of researching the background and qualifications of this nominee. There must be a thorough vetting prior to Senate consideration.”

Without that as his legal pedigree, Spearman says it’s no wonder both North Carolina U.S. senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis recommended Myers to President Trump.

“With this man in a lifetime spot in the Eastern District, we can be assured that there will be no judicial independence coming from that bench,” Spearman said in a statement. “He will be a thoroughly good gopher for injustice and a tremendously bad champion for justice.”