Meanwhile, Anita Hill, who accused then-SCOTUS nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in 1991, tells Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos that Kavanaugh has the ‘burden of persuasion’ when it comes to these claims. She wants the Senate to give his rape accuser more consideration than they gave her.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation for the Supreme Court has been tainted by his past, as Republicans express concern over an allegation that a drunken Kavanaugh attacked Christine Blasey Ford at a party 37 years ago when they were teenagers.
Hill believes the Senate Judiciary Committee has a chance to do better by the country than it did nearly three decades ago when handling her case against Thomas. Hill believes she got a raw deal.
“Today, the public expects better from our government than we got in 1991, when our representatives performed in ways that gave employers permission to mishandle workplace harassment complaints throughout the following decades. That the Senate Judiciary Committee still lacks a protocol for vetting sexual harassment and assault claims that surface during a confirmation hearing suggests that the committee has learned little from the Thomas hearing, much less the more recent #MeToo movement,” Hill wrote for the New York Times.
“With the current heightened awareness of sexual violence comes heightened accountability for our representatives. To do better, the 2018 Senate Judiciary Committee must demonstrate a clear understanding that sexual violence is a social reality to which elected representatives must respond. A fair, neutral and well-thought-out course is the only way to approach Dr. Blasey and Judge Kavanaugh’s forthcoming testimony. The details of what that process would look like should be guided by experts who have devoted their careers to understanding sexual violence. The job of the Senate Judiciary Committee is to serve as fact-finders, to better serve the American public, and the weight of the government should not be used to destroy the lives of witnesses who are called to testify.”
Ford told the Washington Post Sunday that when she was 15, Kavanaugh, then 17, attacked her while holding his hand over her mouth so she couldn’t scream. She said his friend Mark Judge tried to jump on them and that allowed her to escape.
Kavanaugh has denied her accusations.
“I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation,” he said in a statement. “I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”
But like many following this story, Hill ain’t buying it.
“With years of hindsight, mounds of evidence of the prevalence and harm that sexual violence causes individuals and our institutions, as well as a Senate with more women than ever, ‘not getting it’ isn’t an option for our elected representatives. In 2018, our senators must get it right,” she said.
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