Ahead of the vote, Sen. Bob CorkerBob CorkerRubio to vote for Tillerson Top Dem comes out against Tillerson ahead of key vote This week: Congressional Republicans prepare to huddle with Trump MORE (R-Tenn.), alongside Sens. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderTrump, GOP set to battle on spending cuts Senate committee vote on DeVos postponed Cheney calls for DeVos to be confirmed ‘promptly’ MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyVA leaving navy veterans adrift in sea of Agent Orange Senate confirms first nominees of Trump era Senate gears up for battle over Trump's CIA pick MORE (D-Vt.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, urged the Senate to cleanly confirm Fowlkes.

"I'm glad to join with Sen. Alexander, with Sen. Leahy and others," Corker said. "I hope we have an overwhelming vote today with this gentleman who I believe is going to be an outstanding federal judge and I want to ask all of my colleagues to join us in supporting this person who, again, I think will be exemplary on the bench as he has been throughout his entire life."

President Obama nominated Fowlkes, formerly a state judge in Tennessee, in December 2011.