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Gillum and Abrams call on Senate to reject Trump judicial nominee

Gillum and Abrams call on Senate to reject Trump judicial nominee
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Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams on Tuesday called on senators to oppose one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoaquín Castro: Trump would be 'in court right now' if he weren't the president or 'privileged' Trump flubs speech location at criminal justice conference Comey reveals new details on Russia probe during House testimony MORE's judicial picks who could get a vote this week, citing his record on voting rights.

Gillum and Abrams, who were the Democratic nominees this cycle for governor in Florida and Georgia, respectively, issued a joint statement saying that Thomas Farr has worked to suppress black voters.

Trump has nominated Farr to be a district judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

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"When it comes to the trifecta of voter disenfranchisement — voter suppression, racial gerrymandering, and restriction of voting rights — Thomas Farr is, sadly, one of the most experienced election lawyers in the country," Abrams and Gillum wrote in their statement.

"Superior courts have ruled against him in case after case, citing the surgical precision with which the policies he champions have targeted voters of color, especially African-Americans," they added.

Gillum and Abrams also wrote that the people of North Carolina's Eastern District, where most of the state's black voters live, "should be represented by a Bench that respects its diversity, not one that actively works to disenfranchise them."

“We call on all U.S. senators who revere our democracy — who put that democracy above party loyalty — to reject this nomination and deny Thomas Farr the platform to continue his crusade against voting rights," they added. 

With their call to reject Farr, Abrams and Gillum became the latest Democrats to warn that Farr would use his position on the bench to rule against people of color. 

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday cited Farr's "disenfranchisement of African-American voters" as he harshly criticized his nomination.

"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. 

Farr could get a vote as soon as this week, but he can't afford to lose any further support in the Senate if he wants to be confirmed.

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTim Scott: Stop giving court picks with 'questionable track records on race' a Senate vote Flake stands firm on sending a ‘message to the White House’ on Mueller CNN to partner with The Des Moines Register on polling ahead of 2020 Iowa caucuses MORE (R-Ariz.) has said he will vote against Trump's judicial picks until there is a vote on legislation protecting special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE.

Assuming all 49 members of the Democratic caucus will oppose Farr, that means the nominee must get every other Republican senator to vote "yes," which would result in a 50-50 tie that Vice President Pence could break in favor of him.