Delivering remarks at the 2018 Atlantic Festival, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said he was concerned by the “tone” Judge Brett Kavanaugh took at the second round of his confirmation hearings.
Praising the Supreme Court, Flake said it was “the last bastion of, the last institution that most Americans have faith in.”
“That’s how it has worked for us to cede so much authority and give so much power to the Supreme Court, because people still have faith,” Flake said. “If that faith is gone, then heaven help us.”
On that subject of keeping the American people’s faith in the Supreme Court, Flake criticized Kavanaugh’s temperament in last week’s hearing on the uncorroborated, evidence-lacking sexual misconduct allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford and others against him.
“I was very troubled by the tone of the remarks,” Flake said.
“The initial defense that Judge Kavanaugh gave was something — like I told my wife I hope that I would sound that indignant if I were — if I felt that I was unjustly, you know, maligned. But then it went on, and the interaction with the members was sharp and partisan, and that concerns me.”
“I tell myself you give a little leeway because of what he’s been through, but on the other hand, we can’t have this on the court,” Flake added. “We simply can’t.”
Flake is one of three Republican senators, along with Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who are widely expected to be the deciding votes on Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. If every Democrat votes no, Republicans can lose only one R vote and still confirm Kavanaugh.
After the event, the Atlantic’s Elaina Plott asked Flake if his comments meant he would not vote for Kavanaugh’s confirmation. She reports he appeared “rattled,” and said “I wasn’t referring to him.”
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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