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Republican Tim Scott bucks Trump to oppose judicial nominee



President Donald Trump with South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott.
Donald Trump with South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim

Alex Wong/Getty

  • Sen. Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican, announced he
    will become the deciding vote in opposing President Donald
    Trump’s controversial judicial nominee Thomas Farr. 
  • The sole black member of the Republican Senate caucus, Scott
    based his opposition to Farr on accusations that the lawyer
    helped orchestrate an effort to disenfranchise black voters while
    working for segregationist GOP Sen. Jesse Helms’ 1984 and 1990
    Senate campaigns. 
  • Scott cited a 1991 Department of Justice memo leaked this
    week that detailed Farr’s involvement in the voter suppression

Sen. Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican and the sole black
member of the Republican Senate caucus, announced he will oppose
judicial nominee Thomas Farr, assuring that the controversial
conservative lawyer will not get a seat on the federal

Scott became the deciding vote in the confirmation process
of a man who’s been accused of championing racially
discriminatory efforts to disenfranchise voters after Sen. Jeff
Flake, the retiring Arizona Republican, pledged not to confirm

The South Carolina lawmaker based his opposition to the nominee
on evidence that Farr helped orchestrate the mailing of postcards
to 100,000 black voters during Sen. Jesse Helms’ 1990 campaign
that wrongly suggested the recipients were ineligible to vote and
warned they could be arrested and prosecuted for fraud if they
tried to.

“I am ready and willing to support strong candidates for our
judicial vacancies that do not have lingering concerns about
issues that could affect their decision-making process as a
federal judge,” Scott said in a statement
provided to The State

Scott cited a Department of Justice memo written under President
George H. W. Bush that was leaked this week and that found Farr
was the “primary coordinator” of “ballot security” activities,
including the mailing of postcards challenging voters’
legitimacy, during Helms’ 1984 campaign. Farr has said that he
was unaware of the postcard effort in 1990. 

Read more:

Black civil rights leaders say Trump judicial nominee is ‘a
product of the modern white supremacist machine’

The seat on the US District Court for the Eastern District of
North Carolina has gone unfilled since 2005 after Democrats first
rejected Farr’s nomination by former President George W. Bush in
2006 and Republicans did not provide hearings to President Barack
Obama’s two nominees, both black women.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats have
pointed to Farr’s “sordid history” of defending and implementing
voter suppression tactics.

Over the last decade, Farr and his law firm colleagues have
defended voting restrictions and voter ID laws that courts have
struck down as deliberately discriminatory — in one case an
appeals court said a North Carolina law Farr defended targeted
black voters “with almost surgical precision.”

Schumer slammed Farr this week as the “chief cook and bottle
washer for the state that probably did more to prevent people,
particularly African-Americans from voting, than any other

The Congressional Black Caucus have voiced strong opposition to
Farr since he was first nominated by the president last year, and

civil rights groups have accused
the lawyer of being “a
product of the modern white supremacist machine.”

“It is no exaggeration to say that had the White House
deliberately sought to identify an attorney in North Carolina
with a more hostile record on African-American voting rights and
workers’ rights than Thomas Farr, it could hardly have done so,”
the Congressional Black Caucus wrote
of Farr in a September 2017
 letter opposing
his nomination.

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