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

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerWhy we need to build gateway now Campaign to draft Democratic challenger to McConnell starts raising funds Schumer congratulates J. Lo and A-Rod, but says 'I'm never officiating a wedding again' 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 TrumpJoint Chiefs chairman denies report that US is planning to keep 1K troops in Syria Kansas Department of Transportation calls Trump 'delusional communist' on Twitter Trump has privately voiced skepticism about driverless cars: report 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 McConnellRepublicans up for reelection fear daylight with Trump Overnight Energy: Students around globe demand climate action | EPA bans consumer sales of deadly chemical in paint strippers | Green New Deal set for Senate vote The Hill's Morning Report — Trump readies first veto after latest clash with Senate GOP MORE (R-Ky.) teed up a vote on Farr and four other nominees before the chamber left for the weeklong Thanksgiving break. 

ADVERTISEMENT

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 FlakeMcSally to back Trump on emergency declaration Flake: Biden 'strikes fear in a lot of Republicans' Press: Which way do Dems go in 2020? MORE (R-Ariz.) voting against judicial nominations until he gets a vote on legislation protecting special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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 CornynJulian Castro hints at brother Joaquin's Senate run Joaquin Castro closing in on 2020 Senate bid: report Five questions for Beto O'Rourke 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 FeinsteinOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — FDA issues proposal to limit sales of flavored e-cigs | Trump health chief gets grilling | Divisions emerge over House drug pricing bills | Dems launch investigation into short-term health plans The Hill's Morning Report - Boeing crisis a test for Trump administration Trump faces growing pressure over Boeing safety concerns 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.