Law & the Courts

Re: Farr-Fetched Attack

In a New York Times op-ed last week, in a string of McCarthy-esque guilt-by-association charges, William Barber II shamelessly smears federal district nominee Thomas A. Farr as a white supremacist.

Typical of the quality of Barber’s claims is his assertion that during Jesse Helms’s 1990 Senate campaign Farr “participated in racist tactics to intimidate African-American voters” and then committed “apparent lying on the topic to the Senate Judiciary Committee.” As I discussed in this post, the supposed evidence for this claim consists of an unreliable partisan’s imaginative reconstruction of notes he made in his diary twenty-seven years ago about what he was told was said at a meeting with Department of Justice lawyers that he didn’t even attend. Farr and the campaign manager have attested that Farr played no role in the contested postcard mailing and learned about it only after the fact. That’s obviously what the Department of Justice also determined: DOJ negotiated the consent decree with him as counsel for the campaign (a DOJ veteran confirms for me that DOJ wouldn’t ordinarily negotiate directly with someone it believed was complicit in the wrongdoing) and, after its extensive investigation into the matter, did not name him as a defendant in its civil action.

Further, the American Bar Association’s judicial-evaluations committee has twice given Farr a unanimous “well qualified” rating—in its words, its “strongest affirmative endorsement”—both in connection with his current nomination and on his previous nomination back in the Bush 43 administration. That rating means that the ABA has found Farr to “be at the top of the legal profession in his … community,” to have “the highest reputation for integrity,” and to “demonstrate the capacity for sound judicial temperament,” including “freedom from bias and commitment to equal justice under the law.” It is farfetched to imagine that anyone against whom plausible allegations of racism or white supremacism could be leveled would earn such a rating.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More