The Senate is delaying a confirmation vote on a controversial court pick from President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump defends Stephanopolous interview Trump defends Stephanopolous interview Buttigieg on offers of foreign intel: 'Just call the FBI' MORE.

 
ADVERTISEMENT
A spokeswoman for Inhofe said he had a “family situation.”
 
The postponed vote was initially scheduled for Thursday at noon.
 
Inhofe's absence leaves Republicans short of the 50 votes needed to let Vice President Pence break a tie and confirm Farr.
 
 
With Republicans holding a 51-49 majority, that means Farr cannot lose an additional Republican senator if all Democrats oppose him, as they're expected to do.
 
 
He said after the initial vote that he had not made up his mind if he would support confirming Farr, who he spoke with on Wednesday. Scott said he wanted to speak with the author of a Justice Department memo detailing what role Farr played on the Senate campaign for the late Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.). 
 
Farr's nomination aside, Scott warned that the Republican Party is not doing enough to bridge the country's racial divide.
 
"We're not doing a very good job of avoiding the obvious potholes on race in America and we ought to be more sensitive," Scott said, adding that there were picks other than Farr for the district court seat.
 
Farr’s nomination has drawn intense opposition from Democrats and allied outside groups who warn that, if confirmed, he’ll use his position as a federal judge to rule against minorities.
 
"There is simply a preponderance of evidence that Farr was involved, often intimately, in decades of voter suppression in North Carolina," Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw US women's soccer team reignites equal pay push MORE (D-N.Y.) said on Thursday. "The standard for this vote is not whether or how Mr. Farr should be punished or excoriated for what he did, but a much higher one — whether a man with this history deserves to be elevated to a lifetime appointment."

Part of their opposition dates back to the 1990s, when Farr defended Helms’s campaign after the Justice Department investigated it for mailing postcards to more than 120,000 North Carolinians, most of whom were black voters, suggesting they were ineligible to vote and could be prosecuted for voter fraud.

Farr — in response to questions from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee — said he did was not involved in the drafting of the postcards.

“I was not aware that the cards had been sent until they had been sent and the manager of the Helms Committee received a letter about the cards from the Voting Rights Section of the United States Department of Justice. The manager of the Helms Committee then called me for legal advice,” he added in his written responses to questions from the Judiciary Committee.

Farr also was part of a group of lawyers hired to defend congressional and legislative boundaries approved by the North Carolina legislature, some of which were later struck down in federal court.
 
Updated at 12:04 p.m.