Vice President Mike Pence will no longer be able to save one of President Trump's judicial nominations with a tie-breaking vote. Sen. Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican, has announced that he has decided to oppose the nomination of Thomas Farr to be a judge in the Eastern District of North Carolina, meaning the nomination is probably doomed, the Hill reports. Republican Sen. Jeff Flake joined 49 Democrats in voting against moving the nomination forward Wednesday, leaving Pence to cast the deciding vote after a 50-50 tie. The district court seat Farr was nominated for has been open since 2005. Republicans rejected two of Barack Obama's nominees, both of them African-American women.
Scott—the only black Republican in the Senate—cited concerns about Farr's work for the 1990 re-election campaign of Republican Sen. Jesse Helms, in which tens of thousands of black voters received postcards that the Justice Department considered an attempt to intimidate them from voting. Democrats and the NAACP have spoken out against Farr for his work defending discriminatory state laws, the AP reports. Farr "has been involved in the sordid practice of voter suppression for decades and never should have been nominated, let alone confirmed to the bench," says Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. "Thankfully, he won't be." (Last year, another judicial nominee withdrew his name after video emerged of him failing to answer basic legal questions.)