Former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen (D), who is neck-and-neck with Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), is in support of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
Bredesen, who served as governor between 2003 and 2011, recently issued a public statement saying that while he found Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony compelling, he would still vote to confirm Kavanaugh were he in the senate.
“Presidents have the right to appoint justices who share their values — elections have consequences,” Bredesen stated, ironically without once mentioning Merrick Garland, whom President Barack Obama nominated roughly eight months before the 2016 election. “I believe a Senator’s responsibility to ‘advise and consent’ is not a license to indulge in partisanship, but should focus on the qualifications of the nominee, their ethics and their temperament.”
“I believed that Judge Kavanaugh initially met this test, and I was prepared to say ‘yes’ to his nomination prior to Dr. Ford’s coming forward,” he continued. “While the subsequent events make it a much closer call, and I am missing key pieces of information that a sitting Senator has, I’m still a ‘yes.’ ”
To give Bredesen the benefit of the doubt, Donald Trump won Tennessee in 2016 with 60 percent of the vote, and it’s likely that a bulk of Tennessee voters would support Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. However, at a national level, Kavanaugh’s popularity is much lower. The first Reuters poll conducted after Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations became publicly known found that less than one-third of respondents wanted Kavanaugh confirmed to the Supreme Court.
After Kavanaugh cleared a cloture vote (a key procedural hurdle in the senate) on Friday morning, the full senate is due to vote on his confirmation on Saturday evening. Swing vote Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) will announce her position on Kavanaugh’s confirmation Friday afternoon. Senator Steve Daines (R-Montana) will be absent for the confirmation vote, meaning that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) can’t afford any defections, assuming all Democrats vote against Kavanaugh.