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Trump Nominates Former Jesse Helms Lawyer As Eastern NC District Judge

Thomas Farr, with right hand raised, is sworn in during a Senate Judiciary Committee.
Alex Brandon
/
AP Photo
Thomas Alvin Farr is sworn in during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination to be a District Judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017 in Washington.

Thomas Farr is a Raleigh-based lawyer who has counseled North Carolina Republicans on a multitude of racially divisive cases.

Farr was a lawyer for former Senator Jesse Helms for nine years and was involved with his 1984 and 1990 election campaigns during which Helms was accused of using tactics that deliberately suppressed the black vote.

Since then Farr has represented Republican lawmakers on controversial cases involving voter ID and redistricting. President Donald Trump has re-nominated Farr as a pick for the judge seat in Eastern North Carolina, a district that encompasses 44 counties including seven counties with the state’s highest concentration of African-Americans. Indy Week Raleigh reporter Thomas Goldsmith speaks with host Frank Stasio about the Farr nomination and what impact Farr’s appointment could have on communities of color in North Carolina.

Laura Pellicer is a digital reporter with WUNC’s small but intrepid digital news team.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.