Civil Rights Groups Unite to Oppose the Nomination of Thomas Farr

Categories: Judiciary, Nominations, Press Releases, Voting Rights

For Immediate Release
Contact: Shin Inouye, 202.869.0398, inouye@civilrights.org

WASHINGTON — Today, leaders from NAACP, Repairers of The Breach, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and NAACP Legal Defense Fund hosted a press call denouncing President Trump’s nomination of Thomas Farr. Each participant expressed strong opposition to the nomination of Thomas Farr to the Eastern District of North Carolina. The following statements were made:

“We hold this call today to make clear our strong and collective opposition to the confirmation of Thomas Farr. Farr’s nomination to a North Carolina court is a threat to our democracy. Our nation just held critical mid-term elections in which we saw record participation by African Americans but also witnessed rampant voter suppression. For the Senate to first bring up the judicial nominee known as the “vote-suppressor-in-chief” adds insult to injury.  It makes crystal clear who stands for voting rights and who stands for voting wrongs. The courts are supposed to be where we can find and seek justice. But Farr’s lifetime crusade is to disenfranchise African Americans and deprive them of their rights. He belongs nowhere near a bench of justice.” Hilary Shelton, Director of NAACP Washington Bureau   

“Thomas Farr is not just another conservative lawyer. He is the product of a white supremacist machine. Early in his career, he joined forces with Jesse Helms, a staunch segregationist.  His record on race, voting rights and civil rights is absolutely disqualifying for a federal judgeship.  Farr’s confirmation would perpetuate the segregation of the Eastern District, which has never had a Black judge in its 144-year history despite President Obama’s efforts to nominate Black women to its bench.  Any Senator who votes for him endorses the racist voter suppression that has marked his career and willfully dishonors those who gave their lives in the fight for voting rights,” Reverend William Barber, President of Repairers of The Breach

“Mr. Farr’s nomination represents a vindication of the North Carolina senators’ obstructionist strategy and refusal to integrate this court, in a district that is nearly 30 percent African-American. Bringing diverse experiences and perspectives to the bench allows judges to make better informed decisions and increases public confidence in our justice system. But this administration has done what no recent administration has done – and rejects the need for diversity in our federal courts.” Vanita Gupta, President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

“Thomas Farr is an extreme and untrustworthy nominee. Given his egregious record of voter suppression, intimidation, and dishonesty, his nomination is an insult to African Americans in the Eastern District and around the country who depend on the federal courts to uphold civil rights.  His candidacy also poses a threat to the credibility of the Senate, the integrity of our judicial system, and the trust between the people and their government. For these reasons, we believe that the choice of whether to confirm Thomas Farr is really no choice at all. We urge all Senators to fulfill their obligations as representatives of the public and vote no.” Janai Nelson, Associate Director-Counsel of NAACP Legal Defense Fund

You can listen to the full audio here.

About the organizations

About NAACP

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas by visiting naacp.org 

About Repairers of The Breach

Repairers of the Breach is a nonpartisan 501 (c) 3 tax exempt not-for-profit organization that seeks to build a moral agenda rooted in a framework that uplifts our deepest moral and constitutional values to redeem the heart and soul of our country. We challenge the position that the preeminent moral issues are prayer in public schools, abortion, and property rights. Instead, we declare that the moral public concerns of our faith traditions are how our society treats the poor, women, LGBTQ people, children, workers, immigrants, communities of color, and the sick. Our deepest moral traditions point to equal protection under the law, the desire for peace within and among nations, the dignity of all people, and the responsibility to care for our common home.

About Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.

 About NAACP Legal Defense Fund

 Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.