On Friday morning, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who was widely considered to be one of the key votes on the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, released a statement in which he said he will vote for Kavanaugh.
Flake’s statement is particularly important because it was rumored that he, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, (R-AK), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) would vote in unison on Kavanaugh.
Below is Flake’s statement:
After hearing more than 30 hours of testimony from Judge Kavanaugh earlier this month, I was prepared to support his nomination based on his view of the law and his record as a judge. In fact, I commented at the time that had he been nominated in another era, he would have likely received 90+ votes.
When Dr. Ford’s allegations against Judge Kavanaugh surfaced two weeks ago, I insisted that she be allowed to testify before the committee moved to a vote. Yesterday, we heard compelling testimony from Dr. Ford, as well as a persuasive response from Judge Kavanaugh. I wish that I could express the confidence that some of my colleagues have conveyed about what either did or did not happen in the early 1980s, but I left the hearing yesterday with as much doubt as certainty.
What I do know is that our system of justice affords a presumption of innocence to the accused, absent corroborating evidence. That is what binds us to the rule of law. While some may argue that a different standard should apply regarding the Senate’s advice and consent responsibilities, I believe that the constitution’s provisions of fairness and due process apply here as well.
I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.