Marsha Blackburn sworn in, becomes Tennessee's first female US Senator

Posted at 12:52 PM, Jan 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-03 16:57:58-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF/AP) — Marsha Blackburn was officially sworn in on Thursday, becoming Tennessee's first female U.S. senator.

Additionally, Blackburn will be one of the first two Republican women to ever serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee. She confirmed in a Wednesday tweet she had been appointed to the committee alongside Sen. Joni Ernst from Iowa. The appointments were first reported by Politico.

The committee currently has four Democratic women senators, but has long been criticized for only having all-male GOP members.

Scrutiny particularly arose when the Judiciary Committee investigated charges of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Republicans hired a female attorney to question Kavanaugh during that hearing.

The 66-year-old defeated former Governor Phil Bredesen back in November to win the seat previously held by Bob Corker. In a tweet Thursday, Corker said he would be "cheering [Blackburn] on each step of the way."

Blackburn says she is honored to "blaze a trail" for women with the committee appointment and spoke of what she plans to accomplish while in the Senate.

"In the Senate, I will continue to work with my colleagues to secure our borders and build the wall so we can keep our country safe from drug, human, and labor traffickers, as well as from the gang members that are crossing into our country illegally. I look forward to confirming strict constitutionalist judges to the Supreme Court and approving the President's qualified nominees to our federal courts. I will also work to close the digital divide by bringing broadband access to rural communities and to address the opioid epidemic that is plaguing communities across our country."

*The Associated Press contributed to this report.