GOP Sen. Scott opposes Trump judicial nominee Farr, sinking nomination

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By Leigh Ann Caldwell and Frank Thorp V

WASHINGTON — A second Senate Republican has come out against a controversial Trump judicial nominee Thomas Farr, a move that is likely to sink his chances of confirmation.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., the Senate’s only African-American Republican, said in a statement that he could not vote for Farr because of concerns about his record.

The nominee to be a federal judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina has been accused of legal efforts that effectively disenfranchised African-American voters.

“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,” Scott wrote in a statement announcing his opposition. “This, in turn, created more concerns. Weighing these important factors, this afternoon I concluded that I could not support Mr. Farr’s nomination.”

Scott joined fellow Republican Jeff Flake of Arizona and the Senate’s Democrats in opposing Farr’s nomination.

Farr was legal counsel on the campaign of former Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., who was investigated for intimidating black voters in 1990. The Justice Department investigated the voter suppression, which led to the memo that Scott referenced in his opposition.

Thomas Farr is an employment lawyer at Ogletree and Deakins in Raleigh, where he has also been the lead counsel defending clients against racial discrimination and workplace violation complaints.

This is the second time Scott has derailed one of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees because of concerns over racism. He objected to Ryan Bounds, a nominee for the ninth circuit in July, over racially insensitive writings during his time at Stanford University. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., also opposed Bounds, resulting in the nomination being pulled just moments before the final vote was set to take place.

Garrett Haake contributed.

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