South Carolina’s GOP Sen. Tim Scott, the U.S. Senate’s only Black Republican who has unconvincingly denied being a token for his party, cast the deciding vote Wednesday to move President Trump’s racist judicial nominee one step closer to taking a seat as a district judge in North Carolina.
Vice President Mike Pence broke the 50-50 tie when Arizona’s Republican Sen. Jeff Flake decided to vote with the Democrats to oppose Farr’s nomination. Now that Farr has cleared Wednesday’s procedural vote, the Senate could confirm his nomination to the bench as early as Thursday.
Farr has a long record as an architect of North Carolina’s efforts to suppress the Black vote. This comes against the backdrop of voter suppression tactics in Georgia during the 2018 midterms that enabled Brian Kemp to win his gubernatorial election against Stacey Abrams.
Scott has one more chance to block Farr’s nomination. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus urged him to vote against Farr for the final confirmation, McClatchy News reported.
There’s good reason for concern about Farr becoming a federal judge. He helped North Carolina create the state’s election law that was so blatantly racist that the Fourth Circuit struck it down. The court saw clearly that new rules in the law targeted African Americans “with almost surgical precision.”
Farr was also a part of the team that signed a consent decree with the Justice Department in 1992 to settle a DOJ complaint that former North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms’ 1990 re-election campaign intimidated Black voters.
Helms ran against Harvey Gantt, the Black former mayor of Charlotte. Helms’ campaign sent postcards to 125,000 mostly Black eligible voters suggesting that they were ineligible to cast a ballot. It also warned that they could be prosecuted for voter fraud.