Former Democratic gubernatorial candidates Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams are calling on the U.S. Senate to reject one of President Trump's district judge picks.
Trump has nominated Thomas Farr to be a district judge in the Eastern District of North Carolina, but according to Gillum and Abrams, the would-be judge's background ought to disqualify him, The Hill reports. The Democratic superstars claim Farr has spent his career disenfranchising voters, particularly voters of color.
"When it comes to the trifecta of voter disenfranchisement — voter suppression, racial gerrymandering and restriction of voting rights — Thomas Farr is, sadly, one of the most experienced election lawyers in the country," read a statement written to the U.S. Senate by Gillum and Abrams.
The pair's concerns were echoed by Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Monday.
"Considering Farr's record on voting rights, on the disenfranchisement of African American voters, in particular, his nomination to the Eastern District vacancy is not just a dash of salt in the wound; it's the whole shaker," Schumer said.
According to The Washington Post, Farr's background does include restriction of voter rights. He was hired by North Carolina Republicans to defend congressional boundaries drawn by the state legislature in 2011. Despite Farr's work on the issue, the lines were shut down by a federal court in 2016, which found they amounted to racial gerrymandering.
The would-be judge was more successful in a 2013 case in which he helped defend one of the nation's strictest voter ID laws. That win put a stop to same-day voter registration, eliminated out-of-precinct voting, erased seven days of early voting and required voters to show ID before casting a ballot.
"Superior courts have ruled against him in case after case, citing the surgical precision with which the policies he champions have targeted voters of color, especially African Americans," Andrew and Gillum claimed in their statement.
Many Senate Republicans disagree.
North Carolina's Senator Thom Tillis called Farr “one of the best legal minds in North Carolina,” while fellow North Carolinian Senator Richard Burr (R) argued the lawyer's “wealth of experience will serve North Carolina well.”
With the Senate currently in possession of 51 Republicans, should the GOP lose one vote, Vice President Mike Pence will be called in to push Farr through. Should two or more Republicans choose to vote "no" on the candidate, he will be denied the bench.
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