As Senate weighs Kavanaugh, Thomas example offers cautions

September 17, 2018 - 4:39 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh recall Anita Hill's accusations against Clarence Thomas in 1991. But there are important differences as well as cautions for senators considering how to deal with the allegations.

The decision to have Thomas and Hill testify publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee, as Kavanaugh and his accuser have offered to do, had far-reaching implications for America's efforts to grapple with sexual harassment.

Republicans were perceived as too harsh in their questioning of Hill. Democrats faced criticism for being timid in her defense.

Kavanaugh's confirmation was cast in doubt after Christine Blasey Ford claimed that a drunken Kavanaugh groped her and tried to remove her clothes at a party when they were teenagers. The now-53-year-old Kavanaugh says the accusation is "completely false."

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