Just what we needed: Anita Hill, who accused Justice Clarence Thomas of improper sexual conduct after his confirmation hearings had closed, has weighed in on the accusation against Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
Ms. Hill wrote a piece headlined "How to Get the Kavanaugh Hearings Right" in yesterday's New York Times.
She argues that the Senate Judiciary Committee "still lacks a protocol" for addressing sexual misconduct claims that arise in cofirmation hearings and that this supposed lack "suggests that the committee has learned little from the Thomas hearing, much less the more recent #MeToo movement."
Do not rush these hearings. Doing so 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. That the committee plans to hold a hearing this coming Monday is discouraging. Simply put, a week’s preparation is not enough time for meaningful inquiry into very serious charges.
Ms. Hill kindly supplied "basic ground rules" for the Senate; her rules would ensure that the matter is not expedited in anything resembling a timely manner.
Nowhere in the editorial does Ms. Hill address the telling matter that Senator Dianne Feinstein had the letter with the accusation from Christina Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh's accuser, in her possession long enough so that a thorough investigation could have been done before the scheduled vote. Instead, the accusation of something alleged to have taken place 36 years ago was sprung on the Senate at the eleventh hour.
In a Wall Street Journal column headlined "Clarence Thomas Hearings Redux," Jason Riles does take note of this:
Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, didn’t ask Judge Kavanaugh about the accusation in private discussions or while he was under oath, despite multiple opportunities to do so. Other Democrats were similarly coy, which smells. Did they not take Ms. Ford’s allegations seriously, or were they sitting on this information until releasing it could do the most political damage?
But it looks like there might not even be a hearing. Judge Kavanaugh's accuser seems disinclined to participate in Monday's scheduled hearing.