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Archived: Lone Black Republican in Senate Rejects Trump's Judicial Nominee Amid Voter Suppression Claims

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), the only Black Republican in the Senate, opposed President Trump’s nomination of Thomas Farr to become a federal judge, on Thursday, ending his chances of confirmation. Trump’s choice — an attorney who has supported voter suppression targeting Blacks — caused Scott to defy the leader of his party’s wishes.


Farr was on the road to becoming a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Democrats have criticized him for defending a North Carolina voter ID law that the appellate court struck down for explicitly targeting African Americans.

Democrats Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum said, in a joint statement, on Tuesday: “Thomas Farr’s record of hostility and disregard for fundamental civil rights disqualifies him for a lifetime appointment that will allow him to codify his discriminatory ideology into law.”

Scott’s opposition of Farr, combined with Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and all Senate Democrats, resulted in lack of support for the nomination to go forward.

Scott said, on Thursday, a memo obtained by The Washington Post “created more concerns” about Farr. It indicated the Raleigh attorney “backed a law that the courts called ‘the most restrictive voting law North Carolina has seen since the era of Jim Crow.'”

In 1990, Farr worked on the campaign of Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), a notorious racist. The Justice Department later said postcards generated by the campaign were sent to intimidate Black voters from heading to the polls. Farr has denied taking part in drafting the postcards.

“I am ready and willing to support strong candidates for our judicial vacancies that do not have lingering concerns about issues that could affect their decision-making process as a federal judge,” Scott said.

This is the second time the South Carolina senator has opposed a Trump nominee. In July, Scott didn’t back Trump appellate court pick Ryan Bounds because of his college writings on diversity and rape. It forced a withdrawal of the nomination.

It seems that Scott being a Republican is a conflict of interest for him. Supporting issues of importance to the Black community, or Black people in general, is not of interest to his party. Another Black Republican came to that conclusion this week.

On Monday, Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) gave a concession speech after a narrow loss in this month’s midterm election. Love expressed a sentiment of betrayal by her own party.

Related Story: Rep. Mia Love’s Aha Moment: Republicans Never Take Minorities Into Their Hearts

“Republicans never take minorities, minority communities into their home and citizens into their homes and into their hearts, they stay with Democrats and bureaucrats in Washington because they do take them home, or at least make them feel like they have a home,” she said.

Reader Question: What are your thoughts on Sen. Tim Scott taking a stand

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