Durbin: Senate Republicans Should Oppose Nomination Of Thomas Farr

Judicial nominee has spent decades supporting and defending efforts to suppress African Americans’ right to vote

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today urged his Republican colleagues to vote against Thomas Farr’s nomination to be a judge in the Eastern District of North Carolina given his decades-long history of supporting and defending efforts to restrict the right to vote.  All 49 Senate Democrats have come out against Farr’s nomination.

“When we bring Thomas Farr for a vote this week in the United States Senate, I hope that the party of Abraham Lincoln, the Republican Party of the United States, will join Democrats in stopping this nomination.  Can we send a clear message, a bipartisan message, from the Senate this week that Thomas Farr and the voter suppression which he’s engaged in throughout his life is as unacceptable today as it was in the dark days after the end of the Civil War?  That’s our responsibility.  This Senator will be voting no on Thomas Farr,” said Durbin.

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate Floor are available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate Floor are available here.

Thomas Farr worked as legal counsel for the 1990 campaign of Senator Jesse Helms, which engaged in deeply disturbing tactics aimed at suppressing the vote.  Mr. Farr also represented North Carolina in litigation over a notorious voter suppression law that the 4th Circuit struck down in 2016.  The 4th Circuit found that that the law had, “target[ed] African Americans with almost surgical precision” and that the legislature had “enacted… the law with discriminatory intent.”  Additionally, Mr. Farr represented the state in litigation related to racial gerrymandering and violations of the National Voter Registration Act.