WASHINGTON—In response to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s party line vote approving the nomination of Thomas Farr as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement:
“A vote in favor of Thomas Farr is a vote against civil rights. In North Carolina, Farr was the go-to litigator for attacks on the right to vote—whether that was the state’s aggressive campaign to disenfranchise voters in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Shelby County decision, its gerrymandered districts, or its efforts to throw up obstacles for eligible voters trying to register. His defense of the state’s bathroom ban targeting transgender people is just another example of a career shaped by a clear ideological mission that, if confirmed, he would bring to a lifetime seat on the federal bench.
“While Republicans on the Judiciary Committee were quick to rubberstamp Farr’s nomination today, it’s worth remembering that Republicans blocked not one but two highly qualified African American women to this seat. This seat has never been held by an African American in its 143-year history, yet the GOP was eager to prevent an historic first in order to hold the seat open for a nominee who has spent his career opposing equal justice under the law.”
Last month People For the American Way released a statement from Reverend T. Anthony Spearman of Greensboro, North Carolina—who serves as a member of PFAW’s African American Ministers In Action— in opposition to Farr’s nomination. That statement is available here.
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.