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Senator Jeff Flake: 'I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh'

Posted at 6:34 AM, Sep 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-28 10:33:31-04

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake announced Friday morning that he will vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. 

FULL COVERAGE: Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

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Flake says he wishes he could express the confidence in Kavanaugh that some of his other GOP colleagues have. But Flake says in a statement he still has "much doubt" after the committee's explosive hearing Thursday.

Flake appears to be the swing vote on a committee with 11 GOP members and 10 Democrats. The vote will be the first one in a series to determine whether conservatives lock in a favorable court for a generation with a 5-4 majority.

If the nomination advances to the full Senate, then senators could begin voting as early as Saturday.

Flake's office sent the following 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.