Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, a key Republican swing vote, said Friday he plans to vote in favor of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
“Unless something big changed, I don’t see what would, but anyway I’m glad we had a better process,” Flake told reporters. Earlier Friday, he voted to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to a final vote.
Flake, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, previously called for an FBI investigation into accusations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh after both he and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were both in high school, which he denies.
Republicans currently hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate, with Vice President Mike Pence a potential tie-breaking vote.
Fellow Republican senator and swing vote Lisa Murkowski voted to oppose Kavanaugh’s advancement. When asked about Murkowski’s vote, Flake said he admired her.
“I admire her a lot and everybody had to make their own decision,” Flake said. “I think the world of her.”
Other key swing votes, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, and Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine opted on Friday to advance Kavanuaugh’s nomination. Collins is expected to announce her final vote Friday afternoon.
“This is a difficult decision for everybody,” Flake said. “We did our best.”
The Senate voted 51-49 on Friday to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to a final vote, which could be held on Saturday.