Donald Trump — nobody ever accused him of being subtle! — has nominated the primary author of the infamous North Carolina vote suppression law that targeted African-Americans “with almost surgical precision” to a lifetime appointment on the federal district court:
Donald Trump’s federal bench picks look like a MAGA rally.
Of the 48 people he’s nominated to appellate courts, none are black or Latino. Thirty-nine of them are men. Eighty percent come from the far-right Federalist Society, though only 4 percent of the nation’s lawyers are members. [“Trump judges,” one might say — ed.]
But the cream of the ultra-white crop is being pushed through by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell right now: longtime Republican lawyer and political operative Thomas Farr, up for a life-tenure judgeship in the Eastern District of North Carolina.
“Even among dangerous Trump nominees Farr stands out for his decades-long crusade to disenfranchise African Americans,” the NAACP said in a statement Thursday. “He learned how to intimidate Black voters from segregationist Sen. Jesse Helms and helped turn North Carolina into ground zero for voter suppression. His nomination is a travesty. His confirmation would be heresy.”
The Senate vote on his nomination is scheduled for the Monday after Thanksgiving, which comes on the heels of an election in which voter suppression was a major issue in a half-dozen other states, including North Carolina.
Farr’s record is astonishing.
In 2016, a federal appeals court struck down North Carolina’s array of voting restrictions, finding that they “target[ed] African Americans with almost surgical precision… The only clear factor linking these various ‘reforms’ is their impact on African American voters.”
However, Jeff Flake is standing by his pledge not to vote for any of McConnell’s judges until he puts a bill protecting Mueller on the floor, so Farr has zero further Republican votes to spare. I think you can see where this is going:
Sen. Susan Collins told me she would support the district court nomination of Thomas Farr, saying she met with him and he alleviated her concerns, while also noting the American Bar Association’s position on him — a big boost for GOP with his nomination hanging by a thread
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 27, 2018
And why not? From the Chief Justice on down, the ideas that it should be harder for black people to vote and their votes should count less are central establishment Republican dogma now, like upper-class tax cuts.