Kavanaugh hearing: Anita Hill tells women 'Don't retreat'

As Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, the woman who alleged sexual misconduct of a Supreme Court nominee 27 years ago watched with interest. Anita Hill, speaking to an audience of women technologists, said she believes that Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed by the Senate, the Houston Chronicle reported.

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Her message: Don’t retreat.

Hill was at the center of the Clarence Thomas confirmation fight in 1991, claiming she was sexually harassed by the Supreme Court nominee who was confirmed by the Senate. Friday, Hill praised the calm demeanor of Ford, the California professor who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault when both were teenagers during a 1980s party. Hill also criticized the Senate Judiciary Committee in its efforts to confirm Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice, the Houston Chronicle reported.

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“What I saw was them more concerned about their processes and their structure and their schedule than the human element of what was going on and what happened," Hill said.

Hill, now a law professor, had been booked to speak in Houston several months ago, but as it turned out, her speech Friday night came a day after Ford's dramatic testimony in Washington, KHOU reported.

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The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance Kavanaugh's nomination to the Senate but will wait for the conclusion of an FBI investigation before taking a vote.

"He will be confirmed," Hill said. "It will take the Supreme Court in a very, very conservative direction that will impact the work of diversity inclusion that all of us are doing."

Hill said she was struck by the emotional and angry tone taken by Kavanaugh, in contrast of what she called the "calm" testimony of Ford, KHOU reported.

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Kavanaugh "was able to express a real anger, an aggression, as well as a lot of emotion," Hill said, adding that no woman nominated to the Supreme Court "would ever have the license to express (herself) in that way."

Hill said that even if Kavanaugh was confirmed, women should continue to make their voices heard, the Chronicle reported.

“I had a choice to make 27 years ago. I wanted to do nothing more than retreat back to my normal life and leave all of that behind and say nasty things about the U.S. Senate,” Hill said. “I did say nasty things about the U.S. Senate, but I did not retreat.”

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