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Ahead of the vote, Sen. Bob CorkerBob CorkerExxonMobil CEO, retired admiral will meet with Trump about State: report Conway: Trump expanding secretary of State field 'Apolitical' Petraeus says he did not vote in election MORE (R-Tenn.), alongside Sens. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderThis week: Government funding deadline looms Key Republicans ask Trump to keep on NIH director McConnell tees up medical cures bill MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyPassing US-Canada preclearance would improve security and economy GOP wants to move fast on Sessions Senate Dems pan talk of short-term spending bill 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.