Marsha Blackburn

Alexander backs Barrett confirmation to Supeme Court

U.S. Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) and Lamar Alexander (R-Maryville) attend a Tennessee Titans event in Nashville on Dec. 13, 2019 (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Maryville) announced he supports Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.

“During her confirmation hearings, Judge Barrett demonstrated respect for the law, intelligence, good character and steady temperament. Having attended college in Tennessee and law school in Indiana, her background will strengthen the Supreme Court by making it more diverse,” Alexander said in a statement.

“She is well-qualified and has said she will decide cases based upon the law, not her personal views. Judge Barrett will be an excellent Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and I will vote to confirm her nomination.”

Fellow Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) has been a vocal booster of Barrett since President Donald Trump nominated her.

Tennessee reaction to passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday was met with condolences from across the country and within Tennessee.

While most delivered laudatory commentary about Ginsburg’s trailblazing career, Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Bill Hagerty wasted little time in calling on President Donald Trump to quickly nominate a conservative replacement on the nation’s highest court. Senate Republicans in 2016 famously refused to take up then-President Barack Obama’s nomination to succeed deceased Justice Antonin Scalia, who had died in February of that year, because of the upcoming election.

Here is some reaction from Tennessee officials:

President Donald Trump can — and should — nominate a constitutionalist to fill this Supreme Court vacancy; the future of our nation for generations to come depends on it.” 

— Republican U.S. Senate nominee Bill Hagerty of Nashville.

Justice Ginsburg was a smart, talented trailblazer who paved the way for women in the judiciary. She worked hard to achieve prominence on her own merit, and I thank her for her service to our country. 

— U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood)

She made a major difference in the lives of all Americans, but particularly in the lives of the young women who just want a chance to compete on a level playing field and pursue their dreams.

— U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Memphis)

Justice Ginsburg brought decency, intelligence and principle to the Supreme Court. Her life inspired many Americans, especially young women. Her service to our country deserves great respect.

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Maryville)

The Nashville Post’s Stephen Elliott dug out some comments from Alexander dating back to political fight over the 2016 Supreme Court vacancy:

Blackburn to speak at Republican presidential convention

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn is speaking at the Republican presidential convention this week. She is scheduled to appear on Wednesday, the penultimate day of the event to nominate President Donald Trump to a second term.

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) speaks at a Tennessee Titans event in Nashville on Dec. 13, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Blackburn also spoke at the 2016 presidential convention when Trump was first nominated. Here’s an excerpt of her comments that year:

Some of our greatest leaders have been people who have worked in the real world…. Leadership is not about lines on a resume. Gender, race, zip code, pedigree, lineage, hurt feelings are not qualifiers for leadership.

Blackburn isn’t the only Tennessee politician making a repeat appearance at a presidential convention this year. State Sen. Raumesh Akbari of Memphis spoke at the Democratic nomination festivities last week after doing the same in 2016.

Alexander, Blackburn named to Trump’s economic recovery initiative

U.S. Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) and Lamar Alexander (R-Maryville) attend a Tennessee Titans event in Nashville on Dec. 13, 2019 (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Maryville) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) have been named to President Donald Trump’s economic recovery initiative.

“The way to contain this disease and get back to work and back to school is to put politics aside and work together as fast as we can on new tests, new treatments, and new vaccines,” Alexander said in a release. “Everyone I know wants this to happen as quickly as we responsibly can, and I welcome the opportunity to help in this way.”

“This pandemic is affecting Americans of all backgrounds, in every sector, and figuring out how we re-open our country requires a targeted approach,” Blackburn said in a statement. “I am grateful that President Trump has selected me to join that effort, and look forward to working with my colleagues to come up with a solution that serves the American people.”

Tennessee delegation comments on Trump acquittal

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) speaks at a Tennessee Titans event in Nashville on Dec. 13, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Here’s what members of the Tennessee congressional delegation had to say about the Senate’s acquittal of President Donald Trump following his impeachment trial:

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood):

The impeachment of President Donald J. Trump was not a matter of procedure—it was an attempted coup, brought forth at the expense of the safety and prosperity of the American people. Every member of Congress must now reflect, remember, and take to heart the real legacy of this dark moment in history, when ruthless partisanship undermined due process, trampled the rule of law, and very nearly erased from precedent those rules that underpin our democratic republic.

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Maryville):

The question then is not whether the president did it, but whether the United States Senate or the American people should decide what to do about what he did. I believe that the Constitution clearly provides that the people should make that decision in the presidential election that began on Monday in Iowa.

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Memphis)

I voted for the articles of impeachment in the Judiciary Committee and on the House floor and believe the House managers proved their case in the Senate beyond a reasonable doubt. Because the Senate required a two-thirds vote to remove the President from office, he will remain. But his ignominious impeachment will always be the legacy of his reckless and lawless presidency. A bipartisan majority of Congress has voted to impeach or convict him, and that’s a blemish on his record that the American public should consider in evaluating his remaining time in office.

U.S. Rep. John Rose (R-Cookeville):

Just as we knew from the beginning, House Democrats’ impeachment process was purely partisan and an embarrassment to our country. More importantly, their focus on this process served as a distraction from the work the American people sent us to Washington, D.C., to accomplish.

U.S. Rep. David Kustoff (R-Memphis):

I commend the Senate for acquitting the President today and putting an end to this partisan endeavor. The fact is, President Trump did nothing wrong, and today’s acquittal proves just that. Now that this impeachment is behind us, I look forward to working closely with President Trump to pass real legislation that would improve our infrastructure, secure our border, and continue to boost our already thriving economy.

 

Mackler blasts GOP opponents for Blackburn tweet

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate James Mackler is criticizing his Republican opponents for being “clones” of Republican Marsha Blackburn, who was elected to the chamber last year. Mackler, a former Army helicopter pilot, took aim at comments Blackburn made about Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified in the congressional impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Blackburn has said she stands by a tweet that stated: “Vindictive Vindman in the ‘whistleblower’s’ handler.” Republican candidates Bill Hagerty and Manny Sethi have defended the president and condemned the House probe.

Mackler closed his law practice after the Sept. 11 terror attacks to join the Army. He spent three years as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot for the 101st Airborne Division, which included a deployment to Iraq. He later served as a military prosecutor for the Judge Advocate General Corps.

 

Some serious coin: Blackburn bill commemorating 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote passes

Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn speaks at a business forum in Nashville on Aug. 15, 2018 (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn’s bill to to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women earning the right to vote is on its way for the president’s signature. The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act, cosponsored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), creates a silver $1 coin minted by the U.S. Treasury.

Here’s the full release from Blackburn’s office:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Marsha Blackburn’s (R-Tenn.) bipartisan legislation honoring the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote with a commemorative coin has passed Congress and is on its way to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act, cosponsored by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), will create a silver $1 coin minted by the U.S. Treasury. Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) led companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

“Every woman in Congress has the women of the suffrage movement to thank for our right to represent our constituents today,” said Senator Blackburn, the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate in Tennessee. “The 2020 centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment is a rare moment to celebrate the milestone in American history that made it possible for women to finally have a voice in government. Ninety-nine years after women gained the right to vote, I became the first woman from Tennessee to serve in the United States Senate. I am honored to have worked with Senator Gillibrand and Reps. Stefanik and Lawrence to commemorate the pioneers and trailblazers who made it possible for us to be members of these chambers.”

“Almost a century ago, after women across the nation spoke out and fought for their right to vote, the 19th Amendment was finally passed. It was one of the greatest milestones in American history, and we should do everything we can to celebrate it,” said Senator Gillibrand. “As a New Yorker, I am especially proud to celebrate a historic movement that was born and planned in our state. Though there is still work to be done to ensure that every vote is counted, I’m thrilled that our bipartisan bill to create a commemorative coin in honor of the suffragists has passed Congress. I urge the President to quickly sign this bill into law and pay tribute to the unparalleled contributions that the suffragists had to our nation’s history.”

“I am honored to celebrate the important work of women’s suffrage activists through the Women’s Suffrage Commemorative Coin Act,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “One of the most vocal advocates for women’s suffrage, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was born and raised in Johnstown, New York, and I am looking forward to celebrating the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment in my district next year. I’m grateful to my colleagues for supporting this bipartisan legislation, and it is my hope that this bill will encourage women across the country to continue to be active participants in civic life.”

“Ninety-nine years after women gained the right to vote, the 116th Congress brought in a record number of women members and the most diverse Congress in history,” said Representative Lawrence. “As the Chair of the Bipartisan Women’s Caucus and the Co-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, I‘m proud to stand on the shoulders of the suffragists who played a vital role in rallying support for the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. As we approach the historic suffrage centennial, it is my hope that this bipartisan legislation will not only tell the story of the courageous activists who played a pivotal role in the fight for women’s rights, but will remind all Americans that the right to vote was a decades-long struggle.”

Blackburn to stay neutral in GOP primary for U.S. Senate

Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn speaks at a rally in Franklin on Oct. 17, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

First-year U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn plans to stay on the sidelines of the Republican primary to succeed retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander.

Speaking to The Tennessee Journal before Bill Hagerty joined the race, Blackburn said she expected the former U.S. ambassador to Japan to be “a fabulous candidate” if he got in. Also running for the GOP nomination is Vanderbilt surgeon Manny Sethi.

Blackburn noted Hagerty has the benefit of President Donald Trump’s endorsement.

“As the president said when he kind of outed him,  he will have the president’s full support,” Blackburn said. “We will stay out of the primary and let the voters have their say and looking forward to supporting the Republican who’s going to be the next U.S. Senator from Tennessee.”

Blackburn donor among those caught in Fla. prostitution sting

John Childs, an equity firm owner and prominent Republican donor who has given to U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) and the National Republican Senate Committee, was among those charged with soliciting prostitution at a Florida spa tied to an international human trafficking ring, TCPalm reports.

Law enforcement issued warrants for 173 people on charges ranging from human trafficking to racketeering to soliciting prostitution. (Police have also charged Robert K. Kraft, the owner of the NFL’s New England Patriots in the investigation.)

Blackburn last year succeeded Sen. Bob Corker (R-Chattanooga), who made combating human trafficking a major policy objective of his time in office.

 

Chattanooga-area woman writes about why she disrupted Blackburn rally

A Chattanooga-area woman writes in The Tennessean about why she decided to disrupt a moment of silence during a Marsha Blackburn rally in Nashville in the waning days of the Senate race.

Yes, I interrupted during her moment of silence, saying that ‘Marsha Blackburn is a white supremacist.’

I interrupted because as a registered nurse, mom of five, wife of one of those first responders who must see, process and live with the incidents of violence that she and extremists like her are inciting.

I can’t stay silent any longer.

Read the the rest here.