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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

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai detained on fraud charge

An activist holds a placard highlighting China's Tiananmen Square massacre as pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrives at West Kowloon Magistrates' Court in Hong Kong in November. Photo: Isaac Wong/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai is being detained until an April court hearing after the pro-democracy supporter was charged Thursday with fraud, per his Apple Daily news outlet.

Why it matters: The 72-year-old's arrest and denial of bail is another blow for the pro-democracy movement in the former British colony amid concerns about a fresh crackdown on activists.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.

Conspiracy theories blow back on Trump's White House

Sidney Powell. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

President Trump has rarely met a conspiracy theory he doesn't like, but he and other Republicans now worry the wild tales told by lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood may cost them in Georgia's Senate special elections.

Why it matters: The two are telling Georgians not to vote for Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler because of a bizarre, baseless and potentially self-defeating theory: It's not worth voting because the Chinese Communist Party has rigged the voting machines.