Ahead of the vote, Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerDeficit hawks voice worry over direction of tax plan The Hill Interview: Budget Chair Black sticks around for now Overnight Finance: White House requests B for disaster relief | Ex-Equifax chief grilled over stock sales | House panel approves B for border wall | Tax plan puts swing-state Republicans in tough spot MORE (R-Tenn.), alongside Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderChildren’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Overnight Health Care: Schumer calls for tying ObamaCare fix to children's health insurance | Puerto Rico's water woes worsen | Dems plead for nursing home residents' right to sue Schumer calls for attaching ObamaCare fix to children's health insurance MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyOvernight Regulation: Massachusetts AG sues Equifax | Trump weighs easing rules on gun exports | EPA nominee to fight worker safety rule in court Trump to ease rules on gun exports: report Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions 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.