Jeff Flake to support Brett Kavanaugh
Sen. Jeff Flake announced his support Friday morning for Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, likely giving him the votes to clear committee later in the day.
The Arizona Republican was perhaps the only undecided senator on the Judiciary Committee during Thursday’s nine hours of testimony from Judge Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accuses the judge of a sexual assault 36 years ago.
Mr. Flake issued a statement Friday saying he still cannot be certain of what really happened back then, but said without any evidence to corroborate Ms. Blasey Ford’s account, he wouldn’t deny the judge elevation to the high court.
“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,” he said. “I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.”
There are 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats on the committee.
If Mr. Flake had opposed Judge Kavanaugh, the nomination still could have been discharged from the committee but without a positive recommendation, which would have been a serious symbolic hurdle to overcome for the nomination when it reached the Senate floor.
The first floor test vote is slated for Saturday, according to GOP aides.
CNN’s cameras caught protesters confronting Mr. Flake in an elevator just after he issued his statement and as he was trying to make his way to the committee room to vote.
“You’re telling all women in American they don’t matter,” one howled at him. “That what happened to me doesn’t matter.”
Mr. Flake allowed her and another protester to berate him, them told the reporters assembled to catch the confrontation that he would say more at the committee vote.