Anita Hill: Can We Finally Fix These Hearings?

She expresses 'joy' at Ketanji Brown Jackson's confirmation, but says judge was mistreated
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2022 11:00 AM CDT
Anita Hill: Can We Finally Fix These Hearings?
Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in for her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 21, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

(Newser) – Anita Hill's reaction after the Senate confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman on the Supreme Court? "Pure joy," she told Anderson Cooper on CNN. "And not just joy for her, but also joy for the court and the American justice system." But Hill—who famously testified as a witness during Clarence Thomas' confirmation hearing—was less joyful in discussing the treatment of Jackson by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "I appeared as a witness before the committee and Jackson as the nominee, but in both situations Republican senators demonstrated their willingness to employ racist and sexist attacks," she writes in a Washington Post op-ed.

Hill makes a plea in her op-ed for the Senate panel to once and for all reform the way it questions nominees. "The committee should adopt—and enforce—standards such as those that exist for taking testimony in federal court proceedings," she writes. "Questions should be relevant and well-founded. Witness-badgering should not be tolerated." She cites examples of Jackson being asked to how to define a woman or being grilled about critical race theory because of books used by the private school on whose board she sits. It all amounted to "specious browbeating," not questions about how she might judge, writes Hill. (Read her full op-ed.)

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