Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum Oppose Trump’s Federal Judge Nomination in North Carolina
Former Democratic gubernatorial candidates Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum released a joint statement Tuesday opposing President Donald Trump’s nomination for federal judge in North Carolina, lawyer Thomas Farr. Abrams and Gillum cited Farr’s alleged efforts to suppress African-American voters in the past.
“Thomas Farr’s record of hostility and disregard for fundamental civil rights disqualifies him for a lifetime appointment that will allow him to codify his discriminatory ideology into law,” read the statement, according to The Washington Post. “North Carolina’s Eastern District—where most of the state’s African Americans live—should be represented by a Bench that represents its diversity, not one that actively works to disenfranchise them.”
Both Abrams and Gillum are African-Americans who lost their midterm elections by tiny margins in states where some have alleged there is voter suppression of minorities.
When acknowledging that Georgia’s former secretary of state, Brian Kemp, would become the state’s new governor, Abrams said Kemp relied on “suppression of the people’s democratic right to vote” that was “deliberate and intentional” to win. Gillum, who ran for governor in Florida, said his state’s “suppression tactics are enshrined in law.”
The two came forward on Tuesday to oppose Farr, Trump’s choice for the bench, and his “crusade against voting rights.”
Farr previously aided the North Carolina Republican Party with work on the state’s congressional map, which was this year declared unconstitutionally gerrymandered to favor the GOP. He also defended a 2013 state voter ID law that a 2016 federal appears court said targeted African-American voters “with almost surgical precision.”
These instances and others have led all 49 Senate Democrats to oppose Farr. Still, he has a “well qualified” rating from the American Bar Association and was nominated for this position before, by former President George W. Bush, says the Post.
A vote on Farr’s appointment could take place as early as this week.