Trump judicial nominee clears hurdle after Pence breaks tie

WASHINGTON (AP) — One of President Donald Trump’s nominees has cleared an important hurdle to filling the nation’s longest judicial vacancy, but it took a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence.

Democratic lawmakers, urged on by the NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus, have been fighting Thomas Farr’s confirmation to serve as a district court judge in North Carolina.

The Democrats say that Farr, as an attorney hired by the state, defended racially gerrymandered congressional boundaries as well as a law that required photo identification to vote. The courts ruled against both measures.

Republicans are backing Farr and they’ve used their majority to limit debate on his nomination.

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Wednesday’s test vote was 50-50 before Pence broke the tie.

Senators are likely to confirm Farr on Thursday.

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