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By Leigh Ann Caldwell and Frank Thorp V
WASHINGTON – A contentious judicial candidate runs the risk of derailing the US Senate because of objections against his past in defending state laws as a discriminatory practice and the refusal by the Senate leaders to pass legislation to protect the investigation of Special Adviser Robert Mueller in Russia.
Thomas Farr, President Donald Trump's US District Judiciary candidate for the Eastern District of North Carolina, has been criticized for his work on cases that Democrats said deprived Afro-Americans of Americans the right to vote. This question has at least one GOP Senator, Tim Scott from South Carolina, undecided as to whether he should support Farr's confirmation.
When asked on Monday when he would support Farr, Scott replied, "It's a good question."
Another Republican, Senator Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, is blocking all judicial candidates, including Farr, until the GOP leaders agree to vote on a bill to safeguards against any threat of Trump dismissing Mueller.
"I was uncomfortable (with Farr's appointment) in October because people had raised other issues, so the carryover was postponed to this month," he said. Flake, telling reporters that he would vote no "if we had not voted on the bill on special councils". "
The Senate Democrats are united in opposition and if two Republicans join to vote against Farr, his nomination will be rejected.
Thomas Farr is a labor lawyer at Ogletree and Deakins in Raleigh, where he was the lead lawyer defending clients against racial discrimination and workplace violations.
Democrats say it helped prevent minorities from voting, including defending North Carolina's restrictive law on voter identity. They also discuss his legal work on the campaign of former Senator Jesse Helms, CR-N., Who was the subject of an investigation for intimidating black voters in 1990.
"Mr. Farr was chief cook and bottle washer for the state, which has probably done more to prevent voters, especially African Americans, from voting," said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. . "It's despicable, absolutely despicable."
Senator Scott contributed to the defeat of a Trump Judge candidate in the past for anti-racist writings, raising objections about Ryan Bounds, a ninth-circuit candidate. Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla. S 'is tidy on Scott's side and is against Bounds, resulting in the withdrawal of the appointment just before the final vote.
Rubio spokeswoman Olivia Perez-Cubas said the senator would support Farr in this vote. "The senator sees no reason not to support his candidacy, so he will be a yes," she said.
The NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus oppose the bid and hold a protest in front of a Senate hearing room last January, when the committee presents its candidacy at a border vote. party.
African-American governor candidates Stacey Abrams (Georgia) and Andrew Gillum (Florida) on Tuesday issued a joint statement of opposition to Farr. "Regarding the trifecta of the suppression of the right to vote voters – repression of voters, racial defamation and restriction of the right to vote – Thomas Farr is, unfortunately, one of the most experienced lawyers in the country in terms of of elections, "they wrote.
Senator James Lankford, R-Okla., Stated that he would support Farr's candidacy after reviewing his work "a lot".
"He's a lawyer who works for different clients," said Lankford.
Senator Susan Collins, a moderate R-Maine who sometimes defies her party, said she also supports him, citing his "well-qualified" ranking with the American Bar Association.
Marianna Sotomayor contributed.