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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Florida fully lifts coronavirus restrictions on restaurants

Photo: Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Friday the state will completely reopen its economy, allowing restaurants at operate full capacity and barring localities from ordering businesses to close.

Why it matters: The state became one of the world's epicenters for the virus in July, forcing DeSantis to pause its first round of reopening.

2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Eyeing the end of gas-powered cars

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Gasoline-powered cars may be going the way of the woolly mammoth, even if it will take decades to replace them and seems hard to fathom today.

The big picture: Internal combustion engines (ICEs) have powered automobiles for more than 100 years. But the shift to electric vehicles, slow to materialize at first, is now accelerating due to tightening government policies, falling costs and a societal reckoning about climate change.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus

Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and his wife, Pamela, both tested positive for coronavirus, his office announced on Friday.

The state of play: The Northams were tested after one of their staff "who works closely within the couple's living quarters" tested positive. The governor is asymptomatic, while his wife is "experiencing mild symptoms." They plan to isolate at home for 10 days.

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