A Republican attorney who argued for the legalization of Jim Crow-like voter suppression laws may now become federal judge.
In July of 2013, North Carolina enacted a set of voter suppression laws that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals later struck down for targeting “African Americans with almost surgical precision.”
In addition to requiring certain government-issued photo ID’s, the law shortened the early voting period and got rid of same-day voter registration, out-of-precinct voting, and pre-registration for high school students.
When the law went to court, North Carolina sent Republican lawyer Thomas Farr to defend it against the NAACP’s lawsuit.
While the NAACP insisted that the “monster” laws intentionally discriminated against African-Americans, Farr vehemently denied that was the case.
“It was not a nefarious thing,” he insisted during a June 2016 hearing.
But the court disagreed, striking down the law and accusing the legislature of researching the most likely voting methods for African-Americans so that they could specifically target those methods in their law.
The judges said that evidence was “as close to a smoking gun as we are likely to see in modern times” and called the law “the most restrictive voting law North Carolina has seen since the era of Jim Crow.”
Farr tried to appeal to the Supreme Court, but the Court declined to hear the case.
But now, Farr could be a federal judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Trump nominated Farr for the position in July, and on Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote on the appointment.
Already, civil rights groups are mobilizing against the appointment, and the Congressional Black Caucus wrote to the senators to tell them that Farr’s record “puts him at the forefront of an extended fight to disenfranchise African-American voters in his home state of North Carolina.”
Farr’s nomination is just another example of Trump’s attempts to reshape the judicial branch with a high number of appointees, many of them far-right.