Focus turns to Professor Anita Hill as Kavanaugh accusations unfold

Anita HillPhoto/Mike Lovett

Anita Hill

As questions swirl about the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, who stands accused of sexual misconduct by high-school classmated Christine Blasey Ford and college classmate Deborah Ramirez, attention has turned to University Professor Anita Hill.

In 1991, Hill testified about sexual harassment against now-Justice Clarence Thomas during his confirmation for a seat on the Supreme Court. Though Thomas was confirmed, Hill’s testimony before an all-male Judiciary Committee is still remembered for having raised nationwide awareness about sexual harassment.

Though it’s unclear how Kavanaugh’s confirmation process will proceed, Hill said in a New York Times Op-Ed that launching an independent investigation would be fair to both Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford. She spoke to The Boston Globe about how the allegations are a reminder that the House and Senate are still not prepared to vet such claims.

In appearances on NPR's All Things Considered, ABC’s Good Morning America and PBS Newshour, Hill also discussed the need for a non-partisan body with expertise in investigating sexual assault claims to reach its own conclusions about the accusations against Kavanaugh and why the American people deserve to see a thorough examination into Blasey Ford’s claims. In the Sept. 28 edition of the New York Times, the newspaper covered a talk Hill gave in Houston where she offered Ford some advice for the hearings.

Hill is a University Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis.

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