Thomas Farr, who worked for the segregationist senator Jesse Helms and then defended the North Carolina General Assembly’s racially discriminatory gerrymander and voter ID law, will not be a federal judge after all. 

This evening, U.S. Senator Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, announced that he would not support Farr for a position on the Eastern District Court in North Carolina. With Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona and all forty-nine Democrats against Farr’s nomination, the Raleigh attorney does not have the votes to clear the Senate. 

From McClatchy: 

In a brief statement explaining his decision, Scott cited a 1991 Department of Justice memo that was leaked just this week, days before the Senate was set to vote on Farr’s confirmation. It detailed Farr’s involvement in “ballot security” activities by the 1984 and 1990 campaigns of then-Sen. Jesse Helms, R-North Carolina.

As the INDY first reported last year, appears to have misled the Senate Judiciary Committee about his involvement in the 1990 postcard campaign. He said he did not know about that campaign—in which black voters were sent mailers warning them that they could be prosecuted for voter fraud if they went to the polls—before it happened, but the Department of Justice investigator who probed the matter told the INDY that wasn’t the case, and a recently leaked memo indicates that the subject of “ballot security” campaigns came up at an October 1990 meeting at which Farr was present. 

This is a breaking story. The INDY will have more on it as it develops.