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

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHow to fast-track climate action? EPA cutting super pollutant HFCs On The Money: How demand is outstripping supply and hampering recovery | Montana pulls back jobless benefits | Yellen says higher rates may be necessary Senate Democrats announce B clean bus plan 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 TrumpVeteran accused in alleged border wall scheme faces new charges Arizona Republicans to brush off DOJ concern about election audit FEC drops investigation into Trump hush money payments 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 McConnellMcConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' McConnell alma mater criticizes him for 1619 comments McConnell amid Trump criticism: 'I'm looking forward, not backward' 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 FlakeThe unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  Cindy McCain: Arizona election audit is 'ludicrous' The Republicans' deep dive into nativism MORE (R-Ariz.) voting against judicial nominations until he gets a vote on legislation protecting special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump 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 CornynTim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls Cornyn is most prolific tweeter in Congress so far in 2021 Schumer 'exploring' passing immigration unilaterally if talks unravel 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 FeinsteinSenate Democrats push Biden over raising refugee cap Lawmakers react to guilty verdict in Chauvin murder trial: 'Our work is far from done' Senate Democrats call on Biden to restore oversight of semiautomatic and sniper rifle exports 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.