The Slatest

Jeff Flake Will Vote to Confirm Brett Kavanaugh

Sen. Jeff Flake.
Sen. Jeff Flake.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, one of the three closely watched Republicans in the confirmation process of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, announced Friday morning that he would support Kavanaugh.

In a statement, Flake described Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony as “compelling” but met with a “persuasive response from Judge Kavanaugh.” He said that he doesn’t have as much “confidence” as some of his colleagues “about what either did or did not happen in the early 1980s.”

“What I do know,” the statement says, “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.”

On his way to the Judiciary Committee meeting, rape survivors directly confronted Flake.

Flake’s vote all but assures the Judiciary Committee will report out Kavanaugh’s nomination favorably on Friday, and the nomination will reach the full Senate on Saturday afternoon.

This now, in all likelihood, comes down to Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, both of whom would have to join all Democrats in rejecting the nomination for Kavanaugh to go down. They both remain undecided, at least publicly.