Update: In a cringe-worthy clip that's making the media rounds on Friday, a sexual assault survivor confronts Flake and berates him for saying he will vote to confirm Kavanaugh, claiming that his vote is tantamount to telling her that "my assault doesn't matter."
A sexual assault survivor just confronted Jeff Flake (who just announced he's voting for Kavanaugh): "Don't look away from me! Look at me and tell me that it doesn't matter what happened to me, that you will let people like that go into the highest court of the land" pic.twitter.com/Jix2BI090B— David Mack (@davidmackau) September 28, 2018
And we wouldn't be surprised to see activists accost Flake's fellow Republicans.
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If there was any doubt left that Judge Brett Kavanaugh's impassioned testimony on Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee had convinced skeptical moderates to back his nomination, it has just been eliminated.
Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, who was among the first Republicans to call for the Judiciary Committee to delay its initial recommendation vote on Kavanaugh after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford first came forward with her allegations, said Friday morning that he will vote to recommend that the Senate confirm Trump's nominee to fill the vacant SCOTUS seat left by Justice Anthony Kennedy.
BREAKING -- Flake Will Vote to Confirm Judge Kavanaugh— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) September 28, 2018
Flake's was a critical swing vote because he sits on the Judiciary Committee, and could have swayed the committee's 11-10 majority in favor of the Democrats. Late Thursday, Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, another skeptic and Trump adversary, said he had made up his mind as to how he will vote, but that he wasn't willing to share it just yet.
Meanwhile, Republican leaders said they are working to convince Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia to vote for Kavanaugh, which would break the Democrats wall of unanimous opposition. Attention now turns to Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a key moderate vote. She and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski had said they were undecided on how they would vote. After the conclusion of yesterday's hearing, Collins, Murkowski, Flake and Manchin were spotted huddling near the hideaway where Collins viewed the hearing.
The probability that Kavanaugh will be confirmed surged on the news, according to online betting market PredictIt.
In recognition of just how devastating Flake's vote will be for Democrats and their last remaining hopes that they might be able to block Kavanaugh, CNN reported that Democratic Sen. Chris Coons got "choked up" when he heard the news of Flake's vote.
.@JeffFlake is a YES on Kavanaugh.@SunlenSerfaty broke that news to Sen. Coons in the hallway as he walked into the hearing.— Elizabeth Landers (@ElizLanders) September 28, 2018
Coons said, “Oh f—k,” then choked up, “We each make choices for our own reason. I’m struggling, sorry.”