CONSERVATIVE ACTIVISTS are disappointed with Sen. Tim Scott. R-S.C., normally an ally. They are puzzled by his opposition to North Carolina attorney Tom Farr for a federal judgeship, supposedly due to disproven claims of racial bias.
Even worse, these Rightists are frustrated that Scott, who is black, has not spoken with several people of color whom Farr asked him to contact.
These friends of Farr shower him with praise and robustly reject these charges of bigotry.
Scott announced last November that he would vote for Farr.
But the next day, he changed his mind. In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, he wrote, “we should stop bringing candidates with questionable track records on race before the full Senate for a vote.”
“Tom’s record of accomplishment is without blemish,” 31 constitutionalist scholars and policy experts — including former Attorney General Ed Meese — wrote Scott in an open letter.
Scott told McClatchy that he harbored “serious questions about the level of involvement Mr. Farr had in the [Jesse] Helms campaign” to reelect this Tarheel Republican to the U.S. Senate decades ago.”
After meeting with the senator, Farr wrote and reminded him that he (Scott) had “received two emails from campaign leaders for the 1984 Helms campaign (Carter Wrenn and Tom Fetzer) proving that I was not a decision maker or senior official or involved in campaign decisions in 1984.”
Farr also explained that the Justice Department cleared him of sending postcards to blacks in what critics called a vote-suppression scheme.
Farr gave Scott phone numbers of four people who could confirm Farr’s decency and refute the accusations. All four told me that Scott never spoke with them.
• Milton Cobb, a self-described “47-year-old black male,” worked at Farr’s law firm.
“No one in that firm (including any of the other 40+ offices) treated me as well as Tom,” Cobb adds. “He spoke to me as if I was his equal, even though technically he was my boss…We even hung out at Tom’s favorite sports bar on a couple of occasions to watch NFL on Sundays.”
Did Milton Cobb ever speak with Senator Scott? Cobb says, “I never heard from him.”
• “I have known Tom Farr for approximately 30 years,” says William Arthur Webb, Esq., a black attorney and former member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
“He is a good man, a friend, and an outstanding lawyer.” Webb adds. “For me, a complete refutation of the suggestion that Tom is hostile to persons of color is that he chaired the committee which selected me as a United States Magistrate Judge.”
Webb says that he received a call from Senator Scott, which went to voice mail.
He rang back, and a staffer answered.
“I left a detailed message with my telephone number but never received a second call,” Webb says.
• “I have known Mr. Farr for nearly 20 years,” says Assad Meymandi, an 84-year-old Iranian-born psychiatrist. “I consider Tom a good friend whom I respect, love, and admire.”
“One of the first cases Tom referred to me was an African-American gentleman,” Meymandi continues. “I watched Tom — over the period of time I provided psychiatric treatment for his client — as a genuinely loving, compassionate, and caring man who went beyond the traditional lawyer-client relationship in helping this African-American gentleman. Over the years, I have grown to admire and love him truly as a son. (Son number four!)”
Did Senator Scott contact Dr. Meymandi?
“He did not,” Meymandi says.
• I asked a fourth associate of Farr’s, who is black, if Senator Scott ever contacted him.
“He did not.”
My three requests for comment from Senator Scott’s press office yielded silence.
President Donald Trump should renominate Farr and give Senator Tim Scott a new reason to call these people. Such conversations might persuade him to rehabilitate Tom Farr’s baselessly trashed reputation by elevating him to a well-deserved seat on the federal bench.