Today in History for October 11th

Highlights of this day in history: Congress OK’s U.S. military force against Iraq; Former President Jimmy Carter wins Nobel Peace Prize; Anita Hill accuses Supreme Court pick Clarence Thomas; Second Vatican Council opens; ‘SNL’ premieres. (Oct. 11)

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Today in History for October 11th

Highlights of this day in history: Congress OK’s U.S. military force against Iraq; Former President Jimmy Carter wins Nobel Peace Prize; Anita Hill accuses Supreme Court pick Clarence Thomas; Second Vatican Council opens; ‘SNL’ premieres. (Oct. 11)

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Anita Hill: ‘We can not squander’ #metoo moment

Noted gender equality activist Anita Hill told Wellesley College graduates: “We cannot squander the powerful voices” of the #metoo movement during the commencement ceremony Friday. (May 31)

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Curtis: Biden should reach out to Hill

Jamie Lee Curtis discusses potential Democratic presidential candidates and says Joe Biden would be more likely to get her vote if he were to privately apologize to Anita Hill. (April 5)

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Joe Biden laments role in Anita Hill hearing

Former Vice President Joe Biden says he regrets he didn’t give Anita Hill “the hearing she deserved” when she shared her story of sexual harassment in the Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas three decades ago. (March 26)

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Today in History for October 11th

(11 Oct 2018) Highlights of this day in history: Congress OK’s U.S. military force against Iraq; Former President Jimmy Carter wins Nobel Peace Prize; Anita Hill accuses Supreme Court pick Clarence Thomas; Second Vatican Council opens; ‘SNL’ premieres. (Oct. 11)

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What To Expect From Kavanaugh Accuser’s Senate Testimony (HBO)

It’s been 27 years since Anita Hill made her explosive sexual harassment allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.

And while American attitudes towards sexual harassment may have changed considerably over the decades — the way they’re handled in a Supreme Court nomination fight on Capitol Hill hasn’t.

Republicans are using many of the same tactics they adopted during the Anita Hill hearings in October of 1991 to defend their current nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, against allegations of sexual misconduct from psychologist and professor Christine Blasey Ford and others.

Then, as now, it’s partly a matter of controlling the optics: Thomas’s wife seemed always positioned where she was sure to be near her husband in the shot during the hearings; Kavanaugh, meanwhile, had his wife next to him while he answered questions about the allegations on Fox News this past weekend.

It’s also about managing the message. Thomas and Kavanaugh both responded to the allegations against them with similar rhetoric — each categorically denying any wrongdoing, and describing themselves as the real victims in politically-driven attempts at character assasination. Both in 1991 and today, Republicans took aim at the accusers, raising questions about their credibility.

The tactics seemed to work for Clarence Thomas — he was ultimately confirmed to the bench. But Manus Cooney, a Republican lawyer on the Judiciary Committee during the Anita Hill hearings, said the aggressive questioning from a panel of all-male Senators hurt the GOP in the election the following year.

“The legacy of that hearing is a woman made an allegation of sexual harassment, and was taken to task by a committee of white men. That had consequences. [1992] was the ‘Year of the Woman,” he told VICE News, referring to the nickname given to the 1992 elections after four new women were elected to the Senate, bringing the total number of women in the chamber to five.

The room for error may be even greater for Republicans this time, with Election Day just six weeks away. And that may explain two major differences between the 1991 hearings and Thursday’s: Republicans brought in a female outside counsel to question Ford, and Thursday’s hearing will be considerably shorter, with Senators allowed just five minutes each to question Ford and Kavanaugh, rather than the two days they had to question Hill and Thomas.

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Clarence Thomas Accuser Angela Wright Talks Kavanaugh Allegations (HBO)

While Washington battles over when, and how, Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers should be heard, one woman is getting a new chance to speak out about her own story — almost three decades later.

In 1991, Angela Wright watched Anita Hill testify in front of an all male committee about how she had been harassed by her previous boss, Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.

The story sounded familiar to Wright, who had worked for Thomas in the 80’s, and says she was privy to the same kind of lewd behavior and unwelcome advances.

“I was listening to her story, and it just made me want to defend her,” she said.

Wright was subpoenaed to testify at Thomas’ confirmation hearing in Washington, but was never called. Today she says, “We’re headed down the same path,” watching the character attacks on both of Kavanaugh’s accusers – Christine Ford and now Deborah Ramirez.

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Watch The Most Outrageous Questions Senators Asked Anita Hill In 1991

As Christine Blasey Ford prepares to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh allegedly assaulting her at a party in the ’80s, Washington watchers are looking back for context to the 1991 hearings where Anita Hill testified that then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her in the workplace.

Hill accused her then-boss of making sexual remarks at work and pressuring her to go out with him. The queasy-making spectacle of white male senators questioning Hill — after an FBI investigation — triggered a wave of women running for office that culminated in 1992’s “Year of the Woman,” while Thomas went on to be confirmed.

Now we’re in the #MeToo era, with a Supreme Court nominee accused of attempted rape at a house party when he and the alleged victim, Ford, were teens. Ford has been reluctant to appear in public to talk about something she’s spent most of her life trying to forget, and has gone into hiding with her family to preserve her safety, after receiving death threats. But she’s now agreeing to testify next week, under certain conditions.

To get a sense of what hearings could look like, we cut down five hours of Anita Hill’s testimony, including questions lobbed by Sens. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), Joe Biden (D-Del.), Alan Simpson (R-WY), Howard Heflin (R-AL). Here’s a selection of real questions and comments made during the hearing.

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Dems Warn GOP not to repeat Anita Hill mistakes

(18 Sep 2018) Female Democratic Senators are warning Republicans not to have a repeat of the past as the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh recall Anita Hill’s accusations against Clarence Thomas in 1991. (Sept. 18)

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