Anita Hill: Kavanaugh Hearing On Sexual Assault Accusations 'Cannot Be Fair'

“To do it better, we have to have a fair process. And a fair process starts with ... a real investigation," Hill said.
Anita Hill is sworn in before testifying at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Clarence Thomas in 1991.
Anita Hill is sworn in before testifying at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Clarence Thomas in 1991.

Anita Hill believes that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s upcoming hearing on the sexual assault allegations against him simply “cannot be fair.”

“It cannot be fair and thorough,” Hill said during an interview with NPR’s “All Things Considered” published Tuesday.  

“It cannot provide, not only the senators with enough information to make a reasonable conclusion, but it cannot provide the public with the information that it will need to understand the significance of these charges,” she continued.

The attorney and professor is in the unique position of knowing exactly what Christine Blasey Ford, known professionally as Christine Blasey, is going through. Blasey publicly accused Kavanaugh earlier this month of sexually assaulting her at a high school party in 1982. The Palo Alto University professor is set to testify in one last hearing on Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee votes Friday on whether to send Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the full Senate. 

Twenty-seven years ago, in 1991, Hill testified to the Judiciary Committee that then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her when the two worked together. Similar to Blasey, Hill was harassed and defamed for coming forward. 

“To do it better, we have to have a fair process,” Hill said. “And a fair process starts with and becomes framed by a real investigation.”

She added that there is an inherent power imbalance when testifying against a Supreme Court nominee. 

“In a real hearing and a real investigation, other witnesses would be called, including witnesses who could corroborate, witnesses who could explain the context of the experiences of Dr. Blasey Ford and Judge Kavanaugh during that period in their lives, as well as experts on sexual harassment and sexual assault,” she said.

In an op-ed for The New York Times published last week, Hill urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to avoid making the same mistakes it did nearly three decades ago

“In 1991, the phrase ‘they just don’t get it’ became a popular way of describing senators’ reaction to sexual violence,” she wrote. “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.”