Anita Hill, whose sexual harassment allegations against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas upended his 1991 confirmation hearings, on Friday called for a “fair and neutral” process to gauge misconduct complaints amid revelations of a decades-old claim against high court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Hill, now a Brandeis University professor and leader of a commission tapped to combat sexual harassment in Hollywood, responded to a request for comment on the allegation against Kavanaugh as its 11th-hour emergence took both parties by surprise.
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In her statement, Hill referred to the decision by Kavanaugh’s accuser to maintain her confidentiality while sharing claims that have since been added to the nominee’s FBI background file, with no further investigation expected.
“The reluctance of someone to come forward demonstrates that even in the #MeToo era, it remains incredibly difficult to report harassment, abuse or assault by people in power,” Hill said through a spokeswoman. “Given the seriousness of these allegations, the government needs to find a fair and neutral way for complaints to be investigated.”
“The Senate Judiciary Committee should put in place a process that enables anyone with a complaint of this nature to be heard,” Hill added. “I have seen firsthand what happens when such a process is weaponized against an accuser, and no one should have to endure that again.”