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"The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is simply the best civil rights law firm in American history." -- President Obama

LDF Calls for New Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings for Brett Talley and Thomas Farr

11/16/17

Read a PDF of our statement here

LDF Calls for New Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings for Brett Talley and Thomas Farr

Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) called on the Senate Judiciary Committee to recall district court nominees Brett Talley (Middle District of Alabama) and Thomas Farr (Eastern District of North Carolina) to appear before the Committee and answer additional questions. Recent media reports make clear that both nominees have failed to provide full and accurate information to the Committee.

Talley failed to disclose that he is married to the chief of staff to the White House counsel, and that he authored thousands of online posts, including a defense of “the first KKK,” and posts where he called the Supreme Court decisions in Roe v. Wade and Miranda v. Arizona “indefensible.”

Farr appears to have explicitly misled the Senate about his role in a scheme to intimidate Black North Carolinians and stop them from voting in the 1990 midterm elections. The Jesse Helms for Senate Campaign, for which Farr served as counsel, sent over 100,000 postcards to mostly African-American voters, suggesting that they could be prosecuted for voting. Farr told the Judiciary Committee that he had no knowledge of the postcards until they were sent. But a Justice Department lawyer who investigated the scheme said that Farr “was certainly involved in the scheme as it was being developed.”

LDF President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill issued the following statement:

“There is no position more important to our democracy than that of a federal judge. Those selected for the judiciary are given a lifetime appointment, and are entrusted to adjudicate difficult legal disputes and fairly interpret the Constitution. This tremendous responsibility requires candidates with unimpeachable qualifications as well as a clear commitment to honesty and the civil rights of all Americans. Recent media reports make clear that nominees Thomas Farr and Brett Talley fail to meet these basic requirements. Now they must explain to the Judiciary Committee why they failed to provide full and accurate responses, and answer questions about the newly discovered information—including, in Talley’s case, his views on the KKK, criminal justice, and the right of women to access abortion. We cannot allow blind partisanship to sully our judiciary and our future. We must strengthen our federal courts by confirming competent and qualified judges, and neither Talley nor Farr meet that standard.”

Press:

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Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.