Anita Hill Offers Advice to Senators

Have a neutral investigation done, and don't rush
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2018 11:21 AM CDT
In this 2017 file photo, Anita Hill speaks at a discussion about sexual harassment.   (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)
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(Newser) – The Senate Judiciary Committee has invited Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, to testify on Monday. Too soon, writes Anita Hill in the New York Times. In an op-ed offering senators advice on how to proceed from her unique perspective, Hill suggests that senators first employ a neutral, thorough investigation into the allegation of sexual misconduct, and only then hear from Kavanaugh and Ford. Rushing "would not only signal that sexual assault accusations are not important—hastily appraising this situation would very likely lead to facts being overlooked that are necessary for the Senate and the public to evaluate," writes Hill, who also reflects on her role in the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991.

Back then, the same Senate panel had a chance to demonstrate that it took sexual harassment claims seriously, and it failed, writes Hill. Today's senators have a chance to rectify that, though she finds it troubling that the panel has yet to put in place a protocol for dealing with harassment and assault claims. "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." Another plea from Hill: She wants Ford to be referred to by her name, not merely as "Kavanaugh's accuser." Read the full piece. (Read more Anita Hill stories.)

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