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Anita Hill Testimony: Clarence Thomas Second Hearing Day 1 (1991)

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Published on May 1, 2013

Anita Faye Hill (born July 30, 1956) is an American attorney and academic, currently a professor of social policy, law and women's studies at Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management. More: https://www.amazon.com/gp/search?ie=U...

Thomas was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by then-President George H. W. Bush, a position that required Senate hearings and confirmation. The hearings were initially completed, with Thomas's good character being presented as a primary qualification for the high court because he had only been a judge for slightly more than one year. There had been little organized opposition to Thomas's nomination and his confirmation seemed assured until a report of a private interview of Hill by the FBI leaked out to the press. The hearings were then reopened, and Hill was called to publicly testify. Hill said in the October 1991 televised hearings that Thomas had sexually harassed her while he was her supervisor at the Department of Education and the EEOC. When questioned on why she followed Thomas to the second job after he had already allegedly harassed her, she said she had wanted to work in the civil rights field, she had no alternative job, "and at that time, it appeared that the sexual overtures ... had ended."

According to Hill, during her two years of employment as Thomas's assistant, Thomas had asked her out socially many times, and after she refused, he used work situations to discuss sexual subjects. "He spoke about...such matters as women having sex with animals and films showing group sex or rape scenes" she said, adding that on several occasions Thomas graphically described "his own sexual prowess" and the details of his anatomy. Hill also recounted an instance in which Thomas examined a can of Coke on his desk and asked, "Who has put pubic hair on my Coke?"

Four female witnesses waited in the wings to reportedly support Hill's credibility, but they were not called, due to what the Los Angeles Times described as a private, compromise deal between "aggressive, gloves-off" Republicans and the Senate Judiciary Committee Chair, Democrat Joe Biden. According to Time magazine, one of the witnesses, Angela Wright, may not have been considered credible on the issue of sexual harassment because she had been fired from the EEOC by Thomas.

Hill agreed to take a polygraph test. The results supported the veracity of her statements;[16] Thomas declined the test. He made a vehement and complete denial, saying that he was being subjected to a "high-tech lynching for uppity blacks" by white liberals who were seeking to block a black conservative from taking a seat on the Supreme Court.[17][18] After extensive debate, the U.S. Senate confirmed Thomas to the Supreme Court by a vote of 52--48; the narrowest margin since the 19th century.[14][19]

Thomas's supporters questioned Hill's credibility claiming she was delusional or was a spurned woman, seeking revenge.[13] They cited the time delay of ten years between the alleged behavior by Thomas and Hill's accusations, and noted that Hill had followed Thomas to a second job and later had personal contacts with Thomas, including giving him a ride to an airport—behavior which they said would be inexplicable if Hill's allegations were true.[7][9][13][20] Hill countered that she came forward because she felt an obligation to share information on the character and actions of a person who was being considered for the Supreme Court.[13] She testified that after leaving the EEOC, she had had two "inconsequential" phone conversations with Thomas, and had seen him personally on two occasions; once to get a job reference and the second time when he made a public appearance in Oklahoma where she was teaching.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anita_hill

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