As a scheduled committee vote on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court draws closer, senators representing those in the Tennessee Valley have started weighing in on their votes.
By late Thursday night, three out of the four senators between Alabama and Tennessee announced their line of thinking regarding Kavanaugh.
Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander was the first to speak out on social media. Shortly before 6:30 p.m., he took to both Twitter and Facebook to declare that he will vote for Kavanaugh “because of his 26 years of distinguished public service and his reputation as a superior jurist, lawyer and teacher.”
During her testimony on Thursday, Dr. Christie Blasey Ford reaffirmed her desire for a formal FBI investigation into her allegations against Kavanaugh. Two other women, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, also expressed a desire for their claims against Kavanaugh to be investigated by the FBI.
However, in his statement, Alexander echoes the sentiment of other Republican senators that a new FBI investigation is unnecessary.
“Judge Kavanaugh denies under oath Dr. Ford’s account of an alleged incident 36 years ago,” Alexander said in a statement.
“The FBI has conducted six background investigations of Judge Kavanaugh since that alleged incident and found no such conduct. Every person Dr. Ford alleges was present at the incident says, under penalty of a felony, it didn’t happen.”
Just over an hour later at 7:49 p.m., Tennessee Senator Bob Corker also weighed in stating on Twitter that he will “plan to vote to confirm [Kavanaugh].”
Corker noted that “it took courage for Dr. Ford to appear before the committee” on Thursday. However, he argued that “While both individuals provided compelling testimony, nothing that has been presented corroborates the allegation.”
“There is no question that Judge Kavanaugh is qualified to serve on the Supreme Court, and in a different political environment, he would be confirmed overwhelmingly,” Corker said in a statement.
Alabama Senator Doug Jones took the opposite stance. Just before 10 p.m., Jones took to Twitter stating that he will vote against Kavanaugh’s nomination.
“The Kavanaugh nomination process has been flawed from the beginning and incomplete at the end,” Jones said. “Dr. Ford was credible and courageous, and I am concerned about the message our vote will be sending our sons and daughters, as well as victims of sexual assault. I will be voting no.”
The ABC station in Birmingham, 33/40, received the following statement from Alabama Senator Richard Shelby:
"I know this was a difficult day for Dr. Ford, Judge Kavanaugh, and their families. I appreciate Chairman Grassley giving both sides a fair chance to be heard. I watched the hearing today. I thought that Dr. Ford was credible, but I thought that Judge Kavanaugh came on very strong and was also very credible.”
WAAY 31 also reached out to Shelby’s office to determine if Shelby has decided definitively how he will vote. We will update this story with his response. A vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled for Friday morning.
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