Thomas Farr Will Not Be Confirmed as a US Federal Judge from NC

Today, there is cause for celebration since, as a result of the decision of Senator Tim Scott (R-SC)and Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), Thomas Farr, an attorney who was the architect of the 2013 Voter ID Bill in NC that was determined to be unconstitutional, will not be confirmed to serve as a Federal District Court Judge from our state. Tim Scott, an African American Senator from South Carolina said, “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’s concerns arose as the result of a 1991 US Justice Department memo which was leaked this week which raised concerns over Farr’s role in a well-known voter suppression scheme that took place during the 1984 and 1990 of US Senator Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) which targeted African American voters. Farr worked for Senator Helms at that time.

Civil rights groups, as well as the Congressional Black Caucus, have been opposed to Farr’s nomination for nearly a year. Farr wrote North Carolina’s extreme voter ID law in 2013, which was later struck down by a federal appeals court, and in doing so, the court found the law targeted black people “with almost surgical precision.”

Chief Justice John Roberts speaks in support of the independence of our Judiciary

Today, Chief Justice John Roberts of the United States Supreme Court took a bold step in speaking out in support of the independence and integrity of judges serving as part of the Federal Judiciary. He made his statement to rebuke a statement made by President Trump earlier this week when he criticized a judge and in doing so referred to him as an “Obama judge” who had entered an order in opposition to his recently announced asylum policy for immigrants.

Judge Roberts stated that Trump’s statement essentially reflected a profound misunderstanding of the role of the judiciary. He went on to say “We do not have Obama judges or Trumps judges, Bush judges or Clinton Judges, what we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.” I’d like to commend Chief Justice Roberts for his statement, however, President Trump could not accept the Chief Justice’s statement, and he subsequently lashed out and stated in a tweet that we do indeed have “Obama judges.” President Trump continues to show disrespect for the independence of our Judiciary System as well as to other institutions of government which undermines the moral and legal integrity of our country, however, I’m no longer shocked by those things that he says and does, I simply long and pray for a day that we once again have a moral, responsible president leading our country who respects the separation of powers in our branches of government and who stands up for the principles that we collectively embody, embrace, and respect.

Discussing US Politics and Elections with Visiting Group from Australia

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting with a group of visitors from Australia. This impressive group was composed of persons who work with the Australian Government or political groups affiliated with the government. They were spending time here in NC to obtain a better understanding of our overall political climate and the issues facing our state as we approach the upcoming General Election. I was able to provide this group with an overview of how our General Assembly is elected and how we function and operate on a day-to-day basis. I also provided them with an overview of the changes that have occurred in NC over the past decade and of the critical issues facing our state at this time. They asked very thoughtful and intriguing questions which provided them with an opportunity to learn and contrast how we operate here in NC as opposed to how they operate in Australia. I enjoyed meeting this group and I hope that they will stay in touch in the years to come.

This group was part of a program which is sponsored by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and they were a part of the International Visitor Leadership Program. This group included Ms. Claire Angela Bradley, Ms. Julia Elizabeth Dixon, Ms. Carina Mary Lindsay Garland, Ms. Emeline Melissa Gaske, Mr. Jeffrey Alexander McCormack, Mr. Richard Roy Kilpatrick Newton, Mr. Jonathan Persley, Mr. Bryce Maurice Roney, Mr. Brodie Thompson, and Ms. Malwina Wyra. I’d like to thank Mr. Sam Lasris who invited me to meet with this group and who assisted with their visit in NC.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

President Trump Seeks to End Birthright Citizenships Despite the 14th Amendment

President Trump Seeks to End Birthright Citizenships and Has Once Again Announced that He is a Nationalist without Clarification

Today, President Donald Trump announced his intent to execute an Executive Order that would eliminate birthright citizenship. Pursuant to the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution, those persons born in the United States become citizens upon their birth in this country. This means that even if one’s parents were not citizens of this country, that an infant would still be an American citizen if the child was born in the United States. President Trump is of the opinion that notwithstanding language in the US Constitution to this effect, that he has the power through the execution of an Executive Order to end birthright citizenship to infants whose parents are not citizens of our country. President Trump is essentially launching an attack against innocent children. This new policy follows the policy embarked upon last spring to separate children from their parents when they enter the United States seeking asylum. I don’t know when and if it will ever end.

Just yesterday, President Trump, in an interview on Fox News, announced once again that he was a Nationalist, and when provided an opportunity to clarify his remarks, he refused to do so even though he knows that there are White Nationalist racist organizations that identify with him and support him. He should repudiate their support and everything that they stand for, and use his best efforts to distance himself philosophically from these fringe groups. The reason he does not do so speaks for itself.