Nov 29, 2018

Tim Scott will oppose controversial Trump nominee

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said Thursday that he will oppose Thomas Farr's nomination to the federal bench in North Carolina, effectively killing the controversial Trump nominee's confirmation.

The backdrop: All 49 Senate Democrats have pledged to oppose Farr’s nomination, citing his record of supporting election policies that have been labeled by federal courts as racially discriminatory. Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) has promised to vote against all of President Trump's judicial nominees until the Senate approves a bill aimed at shielding special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired. With that said, Scott's opposition means Farr's confirmation will fail at least 51-50 in the Senate.

"Confirming judicial nominees is one of the most important responsibilities of a United States Senator. I take my role in that process very seriously, as we want to ensure the judicial branch remains honest, fair, and impartial ...
This week, a Department of Justice memo written under President George H.W. Bush was released that shed light on Mr. Farr's activities. This, in turn, created more concerns. Weighing these important factors, this afternoon I concluded that I could not support Mr. Farr's nomination."
— Sen. Tim Scott in a statement

Go deeper: Trump judicial pick in limbo, seen as a threat to voting rights

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Unemployment rate falls to 13.3% in May

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May, with 2.5 million jobs gained, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The far better-than-expected numbers show a surprising improvement in the job market, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The difficulty of calculating the real unemployment rate

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Note: Initial traditional state claims from the weeks of May 23 and 30, continuing traditional claims from May 23. Initial PUA claims from May 16, 23, and 30, continuing PUA and other programs from May 16; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The shocking May jobs report — with a decline in the unemployment rate to 13.3% and more than 2 million jobs added — destroyed expectations of a much worse economic picture.

Why it matters: Traditional economic reports have failed to keep up with the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and have made it nearly impossible for researchers to determine the state of the U.S. labor market or the economy.

2 hours ago - Sports

How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The NBA's Board of Governors approved Thursday the league's 22-team plan to resume play at Walt Disney World — a plan that also includes tentative dates for both this season and next.

Why it matters: The league's proposed trip to Disney World not only impacts this season but could have a domino effect that impacts seasons in the future — and could permanently change what time of year the NBA plays its games.