The Senate’s only Black Republican, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), revealed on Thursday that he will not back Thomas Farr, President Donald Trumps nominee to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
According to CNN, the announcement all but brings an end to the confirmation process, throughout which Farr has been scrutinized for his support of legislation and policy that weakened Black voters’ rights.
“This week, a Department of Justice memo written under President George H.W. Bush was released that shed new light on Mr. Farr’s activities. This, in turn, created more concerns. Weighing these important factors, this afternoon I concluded that I could not support Mr. Farr’s nomination,” Scott said in a statement.
Earlier this week, Scott voted to advance Farr toward confirmation, although his final decision on what he would do for the confirmation had not yet been made, noting that he wanted to speak to the author of the aforementioned memo. The memo details a postcard campaign that was distributed in Sen. Jesse Helms’ 1990 campaign, which the Justice Department claimed was used to intimidate Black voters from going to vote.
With Scott now voting against the majority of his party, Farr does not have enough votes to push his confirmation through. Earlier this week during a procedural vote, All 49 Democrats in the chamber were joined by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) to vote against Farr, splitting the votes 50-50. Vice President Mike Pence had to step in and break the tie, of course, ultimately voting to move Farr forward.
According to NPR, a final vote on Farr’s nomination was scheduled for Thursday, but was later delayed by Senate Republicans to next week. However it is not clear if the nomination will now be withdrawn altogether, following Scott’s announcement.