NAACP Legal Defense Fund : Defend, Educate, Empower

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

Thirty-Six National and State Organizations Jointly Demand Additional Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings for Brett Talley and Thomas Farr

11/27/17

Read a PDF of our statement here

Thirty-Six National and State Organizations Jointly Demand Additional Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings for Brett Talley and Thomas Farr

Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) and 35 other national and state civil rights, labor, environment, legal, and other groups sent a joint letter to Senate Judiciary Committee leadership demanding a new hearing for district court nominees Brett Talley (Middle District of Alabama) and Thomas Farr (Eastern District of North Carolina). Media reports make clear that both nominees failed to provide full and accurate testimony to the Committee, and the joint letter calls for the Committee to hold additional hearings so Talley and Farr can explain their deficient responses.

Talley failed to disclose that he is married to the White House counsel’s chief of staff, a potential conflict of interest for a federal judge. Media reports have also surfaced thousands of online posts that he authored, 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.” The Senate and the American people deserve to hear Talley explain his failure to disclose his wife in his nomination submissions, as well as these troubling posts.

Farr appears to have misled the Senate about his role in a notorious scheme to confuse and 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. In his initial testimony, Farr told the Judiciary Committee that he had no knowledge of the postcards until they were sent. However, a former Justice Department lawyer who investigated the scheme recently said that Farr “was certainly involved in the scheme as it was being developed.”

This newly discovered information about Talley and Farr makes clear that both nominees lack the qualities and temperament necessary to be a federal judge. The Judiciary Committee must evaluate the responses – or lack thereof – from Talley and Farr in additional hearings so the Senate can properly exercise its constitutional role to provide advice and consent on lifetime appointments to the federal bench.

Read the full letter here.

Read LDF’s prior statement on Talley and Farr’s testimony here.

Press:

###

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.