On Friday, Republican Sen. Jeff Flake — a key holdout in the approval process — announced his support for Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation.
The Arizona congressman called Christine Blasey Ford’s Thursday testimony “compelling,” yet ultimately unconvincing:
“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.”
In lieu of a clearer view into the murky waters of the distant past, Flake is voting Yes for the beleaguered judge’s ascension to the highest court in the land:
“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.”
Kavanaugh has been attacked mercilessly by the Left, with many proclaiming his guilt upon first hearing of any accusation against him. Still, despite the excoriation (which I covered here — please read this fascinating and disconcerting monologue by Justice Thomas), he has remained his own man (as I praised here).
[As for the classless fight in Washington over the confirmation, please see my write-up of a breakdown in politics and its effect on America.]
Republicans possess a one-chair advantage over Democrats on the Senate Judiciary committee, yet Flake’s endorsement doesn’t mean Kavanaugh will be become a chief justice. The GOP votes of Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski remain uncertain.
On Thursday night, Murkowski said she was “going to go home, have some dinner and have a chance to think about all that’s gone on.”
Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones has firmly voiced his opposition to Kavanaugh, and it seems unlikely anyone from his side of the aisle will conclude differently. Though, some have expressed a lack of decision thus far.
Despite the unassured ballot victory, Senate Majority Lead Mitch McConnell seemed confident of an impending success Thursday evening.
“I am glad Chairman Grassley has scheduled a committee vote for tomorrow. I will be proud to vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh when the full Senate votes on his nomination in the coming days.”
Here is Flake’s statement in its entirety, as posted to his website:
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.
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