Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) on Friday announced that he will vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a day after hearings over Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, which Kavanaugh denies.
Shortly after Flake’s statement, a group of sexual assault survivors confronted Kavanaugh, holding up an elevator to call him out for his decision.
“What you are doing is allowing someone who actually violated a woman to sit in the Supreme Court,” one woman said. “This is not tolerable.”
“You’re telling all women that they don’t matter, that they should just stay quiet because if they tell you what happened to them, you’re going to ignore them. That’s what happened to me, and that’s what you’re telling all women in America — that they don’t matter,” another woman said, her voice shaking. “They should just keep it to themselves because if they have told the truth, you’re just going to help that man to power anyway. That’s what you’re telling all of these women.”
The other woman later added, “You’re allowing someone who is unwilling to take responsibility for his own actions, unwilling to hold the harm that he has done to one woman — actually, three women — and repair it.”
Flake was one of three Republican toss-up votes, along with Sens. Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Susan Collins (ME). With his decision, Kavanaugh’s nomination will now likely depend on Murkowski and Collins when it reaches a full vote.
The survivors demanded an explanation from Flake, asking him, in particular, if he believed Kavanaugh hadn’t sexually assaulted Ford.
Flake did not directly address the women’s concerns or questions. He repeatedly said, “Thank you,” referred to his official statement, and told the crowd that he needed to get to the hearing. Eventually, Flake got the women to step aside, and the elevator doors closed.