Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) voted for Thomas Farr, nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina on Wednesday in what was one of the most controversial nominations in Congress to date. His "yes" made it 50-50, leaving Vice President Mike Pence to break the tie and vote to advance his nomination. Civil rights groups opposed Farr's nomination because he reportedly led voter suppression efforts in North Carolina, which resulted in black disenfranchisement.
Here's how tense of an environment it was.
In maybe one of the last dramatic votes we'll see in the Senate for a couple years, Republican Senator Tim Scott stayed in the cloakroom for at least 45 minutes as the deciding vote on whether to move ahead confirmation of judge Thomas Farr. He just voted yes.— Paul McLeod (@pdmcleod) November 28, 2018
Critics charge that Scott should know better than to support Farr, especially after he decided to vote against Ryan Bounds, a nominee for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, because of his former racially insensitive writings.
As the only black Republican senator, Scott faced enormous pressure ahead of the vote. According to some, he made the wrong decision. Washington Post contributor Jennifer Rubin even called him a fraud.
what a fraud he is on civil rights— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) November 28, 2018
In 2013, Farr was hired to defend a voter ID law in North Carolina that critics insisted suppressed minority votes. He insists he had nothing to do with the crafting of that law.
"It is unconscionable that the Senate would even consider someone with Thomas Farr’s record,” according to Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this piece read that Thomas Farr had been confirmed to serve as a district court judge in North Carolina. In fact, Wednesday's vote was to advance his nomination. The next vote on Farr was scheduled was Thursday, but has been postponed.