Cheers to this Republican who just stopped a Trump judicial nominee with a history of suppressing black voters.
For Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) this was one nomination that went too Farr.
No, that’s not a typo. Scott, a conservative Republican from the very conservative state of South Carolina helped put a stop to the nomination of Thomas Farr, who was nominated by the Trump Administration for a lifetime appointment as a federal judge.
“I am ready and willing to support strong candidates for our judicial vacancies that do not have lingering concerns about issues that could affect their decision-making process as a federal judge,” Scott said in a statement explaining why he was opposing Trump’s pick. “This week, a Department of Justice memo written under President George H.W. Bush was released that shed new light on Mr. Farr’s activities. This, in turn, created more concerns. Weighing these important factors, this afternoon I concluded that I could not support Mr. Farr’s nomination.”
The controversy over Farr’s nomination stems from his work for the late Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) during two campaigns where an investigation alleges the campaign engaged in efforts to suppress the votes of African Americans.
Farr has denied any involvement in the incident, where 120,000 postcards were mailed to black voters, discouraging them from voting.
Every Democrat and outgoing Republican Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) also opposed the nomination, meaning Farr had no chance of moving out of the Senate Judiciary Committee for a full vote before the Senate.
The controversies surrounding Farr aren’t limited to a pair of Senate campaigns in the 1980’s. As recently as 2013, Farr helped write North Carolina’s voter ID law, which was ruled unconstitutional for the it targeted and suppressed the black vote.
Scott's decision was met with praise from a number of Democrats and the NAACP.
Thomas Farr made a career out of voter disenfranchisement and should be rightfully denied a lifetime seat on the Be… https://t.co/UIw3rKbmQl— Andrew Gillum (@Andrew Gillum)1543534128.0
Senate Republicans didn’t have the votes to move forward with Thomas Farr's nomination today. Let's keep up the pre… https://t.co/5iiFLCAbRX— Kamala Harris (@Kamala Harris)1543525862.0
Thank you @SenatorTimScott for standing on principle and not partisanship in your opposition to the nomination of… https://t.co/QfIrOUrfoL— Derrick Johnson (@Derrick Johnson)1543530570.0
Scott is hardly anyone’s progressive. That's part of what makes his decision so newsworthy.
He received a 96 percent approval rating from the NRA in 2016, is pro-life and generally votes to support Trump’s nominees and positions, including voting in favor of Brett Kavanaugh’s recent nomination to the Supreme Court.
However, he's also been working with the White House on their criminal justice reform initiative, which has earned praise from those working to change our country's sentencing laws.
Had a phone call with the @whitehouse earlier today about the #FirstStepAct and criminal justice reform. I’m optimi… https://t.co/NDHs7y7j7g— Tim Scott (@Tim Scott)1543342922.0
So, we should commend Scott for taking the right stand on this nomination but also it begs to be pointed out that standing up against a history of alleged prejudice should not be limited to cases where the offenses were committed against people of your own race, gender or religion. It would be great if Scott, and other lawmakers like him, took a consistent stand against prejudice of all forms, especially with judicial nominees, where everyone deserves to be seen equally in the eyes of the law.