Raleigh lawyer Thomas Farr's nomination to the Eastern District Court of North Carolina moved forward last week on a party-line vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Proponents of President Trump's nominee praised the vote, and Farr's chances of being approved by the full Senate appear to be good. No date for the floor vote had been set as of Monday.
Meanwhile, North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis said some interesting things to McClatchy reporter Brian Murphy about the controversial nominee. Tillis said that accounts that Farr had advance knowledge of a controversial 1990 postcard mailing by the Jesse Helms campaign were unsubstantiated and from a single source. At the same time, he criticized the campaign's tactics.
"What was done was despicable. Quite honestly, anyone who had anything to do with the production of the mailer shouldn't really have a job in political life today as far as I'm concerned, and I happen to know some of those people," Murphy quoted Tillis as saying.
Who were the people Tillis happened to know? Tillis's office did not respond to questions on Monday about their identities. Those individuals could presumably provide information about any role Farr had in the postcard campaign.
As the INDY has previously reported, a former Department of Justice attorney who worked on the federal investigation says Farr was involved in planning the campaign, in which postcards were mailed to primarily black voters in an effort to suppress the vote. Farr, however, says he had no prior knowledge of the postcards' content.
Tillis and other Republicans praised Farr during the January 18 committee hearing. Each of the ten Democratic committee members raised questions about his suitability, with a particularly negative assessment from Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.