Politics

Anita Hill Wants a Delay on Kavanaugh (Surprised?)

The professor and attorney argues, 'The hearing questions need to have a frame, and the investigation' is 'best for that'

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Anita Hill is backing calls on Wednesday to launch a federal investigation into accusations U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh tried to assault someone more than 35 years ago, when he was in high school.

“Absolutely, it’s the right move,” Hill said during an interview on ABC.

“The hearing questions need to have a frame, and the investigation is the best frame for that. A neutral investigation, that can pull together the facts, create a record, so that the senators can draw on the information they receive to develop their question.”

To recap, Christine Blasey Ford called on the FBI to look into her allegations against Kavanaugh just days after coming forward this week.

The controversy first came to light last week, when her letter to Senate Democratic leaders discussing an alleged incident was leaked.

Hill was in a similar situation of her own against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas back in 1991.

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Related: Democrats Renew Calls to Delay Kavanaugh Vote Amid Sexual Assault Scandal

Anita Hill sparked a national firestorm (and became a household name as a result) when she accused the then-nominee of sexual harassment.

She alleged that it happened when he was her supervisor at the U.S. Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Ultimately, after the famously rocky hearings, the U.S. House and Senate dismissed her allegations and Thomas was sworn in on Oct. 23, 1991, as the 106th justice of the Supreme Court.

Hill is now an attorney and professor of social policy and law at Brandeis University. She also lectures widely across the country.

Senate Democrats have called for Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to be delayed ever since it was announced July 9. The sexual assault allegations are the latest in a series of reasons the Dems have cited for why the process should be halted.

They could potentially improve their chances of stopping the Kavanaugh nomination if they’re able to delay a final vote until after the midterm elections.

Kavanaugh was a high school student at Georgetown Preparatory School when the alleged incident occurred.

Ford claims that Kavanaugh was drunk when he allegedly held her down at a party in Maryland.

Kavanaugh has vigorously denied any such thing took place — and he’s said that consistently ever since the charges first started spreading last week.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) responded to the controversy by stressing that Ford deserves to be heard while also questioning the timing and the way in which the information was revealed.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) echoed those views during a press conference Tuesday.

Related: Kavanaugh Denies Dems’ 11th-Hour Sexual Assault Allegations

Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and some others received a letter from the alleged victim earlier in the summer. They came forward after the letter was leaked, less than a week before the committee was scheduled to vote on whether to advance his nomination to a full Senate vote.

Senate Democrats have cited past delays, unfulfilled records requests, and legal issues related to Trump as reasons to hold back the Kavanaugh nomination. They have argued they aren’t getting enough records and fast enough from his time working for then-President George W. Bush. They’ve also argued that delaying the nomination until after the midterms would be appropriate considering what happened to former President Barack Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, in 2016.

President Donald Trump’s facing a special counsel investigation, and the legal trouble of some of his former associates have also prompted calls for delaying the process.

Kavanaugh has expressed a fairly expansive view on executive authority — which has drawn the ire of critics who are concerned the president could abuse his office to overcome the legal issues facing him.

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