A controversial judicial nominee Thomas Farr cleared a procedural hurdle in his path to confirmation for a seat in the Eastern District of North Carolina on Wednesday, after his bid became mired in controversy over his past record on voting rights.

His confirmation advanced after Vice President Mike Pence broke a 50-50 Senate tie, clearing the way for a floor vote. All 49 Senate Democrats voted against cloture on Farr, with one Republican—outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona—joining the bloc. One closely watched vote—Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina—voted in favor of advancing Farr’s nomination.

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