Thomas Farr

Thomas Farr
Alex Brandon / AP

Updated 3:06 p.m., October 19, 2017

A Senate panel on Thursday narrowly backed the nomination of a North Carolina attorney to fill the nation's longest judicial vacancy over the objections of Democrats, black lawmakers and some civil rights groups.

Thomas Alvin Farr is seated during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination to be a District Judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017 in Washington.
Alex Brandon / AP

A prominent legal defender of North Carolina voting restrictions ultimately struck down by a court as racially biased said Wednesday that his future decisions as a federal judge wouldn't ignore that ruling if he is confirmed to the bench.