Sept. 28, 2018 -- One of the most important jobs of a U.S. senator is to vote on nominations to the Supreme Court. Republican Marsha Blackburn has been clear that she will vote to confirm strict Constitutionalist to the federal bench every time. Democrat Phil Bredesen has thus far refused to say how he would vote on such a critical issue.
He would not say whether he would have voted for Neil Gorsuch, and he still will not say how he would vote on Brett Kavanaugh. Consider this timeline:
July 9: President Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh. Bredesen says he will withhold judgement until "after hearings conclude" then "share with Tennesseans how [he] would vote."
July 30: Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer instructs red-state Democrats to "stay neutral for as long as possible."
Sept. 13: At a voter forum, Bredesen is asked by a voter whether he will support Kavanaugh's nomination. Bredesen proceeds to give a four-minute non-answer, while admitting he "owes it to voters" to tell them how he would vote.
Sept. 25: At the first Senate debate with Blackburn, Bredesen said he would wait until after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh testify before making a decision.
Sept. 28: Following the second round of testimony from Kavanaugh, Bredesen has still refused to say how he would vote.
Kavanaugh has sat on the federal bench for 12 years, authored over 300 legal opinions, responded to over 1,300 written questions from the Senate (more than all previous nominees combined), and sat through hours of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It has been 81 days since Kavanaugh's nomination. Phil Bredesen has had plenty of time to do his homework and make a decision.
"Bredesen is doing exactly what Chuck Schumer instructed him to do by staying neutral as long as possible," said Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Scott Golden. "That's not leadership. That's not standing up to one's party. That's running away from a decision -- a decision which he said he 'owes' to the people of Tennessee."