Schumer blasts Trump judicial pick: Farr's 'one of the worst'
© Stefani Reynolds

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerJewish Democratic congresswoman and veteran blasts Trump's 'disloyalty' comments Schumer says Trump encouraging anti-Semites Saagar Enjeti: Biden's latest blunder; Krystal Ball: Did Schumer blow our chance to beat McConnell? MORE (D-N.Y.) blasted as "one of the worst" a judicial pick expected to get a vote in the Senate as soon as this week.

Schumer called Thomas Farr, who President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE nominated to be a district judge, a "dyed-in-the-wool partisan with [a] particular hostility to voting rights."

"It's hard to believe President Trump nominated him. It's even harder to believe Senate Republicans are considering him again," Schumer said. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats press FBI, DHS on response to white supremacist violence The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democratic field narrows with Inslee exit McConnell rejects Democrats' 'radical movement' to abolish filibuster MORE (R-Ky.) teed up a vote on Farr and four other nominees before the chamber left for the weeklong Thanksgiving break. 

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But Democrats and their outside group allies have zeroed in on Farr's nomination, warning that, if confirmed, he’ll use his position as a federal judge to rule against minorities.

Schumer said on Monday that he was pleading with his Republican colleagues to oppose Farr. 

"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. 

With Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeAnti-gun violence organization endorses Kelly's Senate bid Arpaio considering running for former sheriff job after Trump pardon Overnight Energy: Warren edges past Sanders in poll of climate-focused voters | Carbon tax shows new signs of life | Greens fuming at Trump plans for development at Bears Ears monument MORE (R-Ariz.) voting against judicial nominations until he gets a vote on legislation protecting special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE, along with all of the 49 members of the Democratic caucus voting "no," Farr will only get confirmed if he can hold onto every other Republican vote and let Vice President Pence break a 50-50 tie. 
 
No other Republican has announced they will oppose Farr. Sen. John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters Democrats keen to take on Cornyn despite formidable challenges MORE (R-Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican, said he remained confident Farr would get confirmed, but leadership was continuing to talk with members of the caucus. 
 
Schumer questioned what "message" confirming Farr would send and predicted political backlash against Republicans in the future if they vote to put him on the bench. 
 
"I believe the Republican Party is going to have huge trouble in the future, and they'll shrug their shoulders," Schumer said. "They'll say this is political correctness. No, it isn't. It is because they tolerate things just like this. Not all, but too many." 
 
"This is our democracy. For the first time in the history of America, nasty creatures are gnawing at its roots. This tree could fall down. I hope it won't. ... But it could fall down and will be aided and abetted by those who put people like Mr. Farr on the bench," Schumer added. 
 
Part of Democrats' opposition to Farr dates back to the 1990s, when Farr defended Jesse Helms’s campaign after the Justice Department investigated it for mailing postcards to more than 120,000 North Carolinians, most of whom were black voters, suggesting they were ineligible to vote and could be prosecuted for voter fraud.

Farr — in response to questions from Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinTrailer shows first look at Annette Bening as Dianne Feinstein Trump administration urges Congress to reauthorize NSA surveillance program The Hill's Morning Report - More talk on guns; many questions on Epstein's death MORE (Calif.), the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee — said he was not involved in the crafting of the postcards.

“I was not aware that the cards had been sent until they had been sent and the manager of the Helms Committee received a letter about the cards from the Voting Rights Section of the United States Department of Justice. The manager of the Helms Committee then called me for legal advice,” he added in his written responses to questions from the Judiciary Committee.

Farr was also part of a group of lawyers hired to defend congressional and legislative boundaries approved by the North Carolina legislature, some of which were later struck down in federal court.