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BREAKING: Farr nomination derailed; SC GOP senator to vote against

Amazing news from Washington this afternoon from reporters at McClatchy:

Sen. Tim Scott said Thursday he will oppose the nomination of Thomas Farr to the federal bench, assuring the controversial pick will not be confirmed.

The South Carolina Republican was the deciding vote in determining whether Farr, widely accused of efforts to disenfranchise black voters, would become a federal judge.

Scott’s decision comes after four days of intense drama and speculation about what the Senate’s only black Republican would do.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, made it clear earlier in the day he, too, would oppose Farr’s nomination. Senate Republicans could only afford to lose one vote and still confirm Farr. Senate Republicans control 51 seats, and all 49 Democratic caucus members were expected to oppose Farr.

In a brief statement explaining his decision, Scott cited a 1991 Department of Justice memo that was leaked just this week, days before the Senate was set to vote on Farr’s confirmation. It detailed Farr’s involvement in “ballot security” activities by the 1984 and 1990 campaigns of then-Sen. Jesse Helms, R-North Carolina.

Civil rights advocates expressed excitement and relief in response to Scott’s announcement. This is from the good folks at the Alliance for Justice:

“Thomas Farr’s failure to be confirmed to a federal judgeship no doubt comes as a huge relief to the citizens of the Eastern District of North Carolina, as well as the many advocates for racial equity and civil rights who have fought so hard against this nomination. The events of today provide a glimmer of hope that when a nominee is this unacceptable, at least some Republican Senators will find the moral fiber to reject confirmation.”

Let’s hope this brings an end to the Farr candidacy once and for all.

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