Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, one of the key senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee, just issued a statement saying he will vote yes on Brett Kavanaugh‘s Supreme Court nomination. The news was first reported by CNN.
His statement said in part:
“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.”
Flake is considered a moderate, and since he is retiring, it was believed by some that there was a chance he might vote against Kavanaugh‘s confirmation. However, he has never actually voted against the wishes of the GOP leadership in the Senate.
Many also believe that Flake has bigger aspirations for his future in politics. He may seek public office as a Republican in the future, and in the highly partisan atmosphere of Washington, he cannot afford to alienate the passionate (some would say rabid) base of the party.
Still, many women are disappointed with Flakes’ vote, which will clear the way for Mitch McConnell to bring Kavanaugh‘s confirmation to the Senate floor as soon as possible.
We actually have assumed for a long time that the ultimate approval or disapproval of Kavanaugh will be up to Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. We still believe this is true.
Supposedly Collins and Murkowski are pro-choice, but they only vote against Republican leadership in rare instances. They are both facing strong opposition in their home states among their base of independent women voters. If they vote to confirm Kavanaugh they will “face the music” when they are next up for re-election.
Jeff Flake has proven once more he is a coward. If there is to be a display of courage in the U.S. Senate it will have to come from the two key women senators, not from any of the spineless men in the Republican Party.