October 15, 2020: Clarence Thomas Confirmed to Supreme Court
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Now, let's go back to October fifteenth, Nineteen Ninety one to the Senate floor in Washington DC. It was a tense day for the nation for three days. America had listened to law professor Anita Hill testify about the lewd comments Clarence. Thomas. Had made to her while he was her boss ironically at the equal employment. Opportunity, commission or EEOC and hills testimony suggested that there was not much by way of opportunity if you were a young black woman working under Thomas. while. She was reluctant to characterize her treatment under Thomas as illegal sexual harassment in the workplace. She made it clear that his character was not at the standard necessary to serve the highest court in the land. Many Americans rindt convinced by Hill's testimony however, most believed that Clarence Thomas should be confirmed according to a poll run by CBS and the New York. Times these skeptics had various reasons for dismissing hill some she was lying or exaggerating or simply deluded some thought her allegations were part of a racist witch hunt despite the fact that hill like Thomas was black Thomas, himself accused the all white Senate, Judiciary Committee of conducting a high tech. Lynching still other, Thomas. Believed that even if hill whilst telling the truth, it shouldn't matter. Thomas should be considered for the job of Supreme Court judge based on his work, not his personal life. Of course, as his aide Anita, Hill's treatment was part of his work. Now, the Senate was settling in for one last debate over these questions. As the senators argued on the floor President George H W Bush scrambled in the White House doing his best to bring executive pressure to bear on Congress. He wanted his nominee confirmed the American people meanwhile inundated Capitol Hill with all the pressure they could bring to bear phones were ringing off the hook telegrams were coming in droves everyone wanted their say. But in the end, it was up to the Senate their votes would determine whether or not Clarence Thomas was worthy of a spot on the highest judicial bench in the land. The tension of the day reached a boiling point as the results were called in fifty two to forty eight in favor of Thomas. If, three more senators had abandoned Thomas. He would have lost his opportunity to sit on the Supreme Court bench forever but he had just enough Democrats on his side to scramble across the Finish Line Eleven. Many of those senators were dependent on the support of black constituents and likely feared that a vote against Thomas would be read as an anti-black vote. Still it was far from a sweeping victory for Thomas. It's no surprise that the judge wanted to put the whole ordeal behind him as he put it this is a time for healing not a time for anger or Animus or animosity we have to put these things behind us and go forward. That worked out pretty well for him to this day almost two decades later he still sits on the Supreme Court and at seventy two, he may have years left before retirement. The oldest ever judge to leave the court was Oliver Wendell. Holmes Junior who served until he was ninety years old. Many women were less eager to forget what happened in October nineteen ninety one however, Marsha Green Burger founder of the National Women's law center explained it way. Anita. Hill sparked conversations among women that they had never had before about experiences that they realized were shared by so many others. This was the first time that they saw they weren't alone both by her telling her own story, and then by they're discussing their stories with their friends and family many of these women saw potential in this new solidarity and were determined to transform it into change. Coming up the legacy of Anita Hill's testimony against. Thomas. Listeners who doesn't love a good ghost story rattling chains mysteriously moving objects unfinished business. I am ready for all things spooky and so is podcast network starting October. First, we're bringing you the scariest most hair raising ghost stories ever imagined every Thursday on the new original series haunted places, ghost stories, Alistair Murdoch in summons, a new spine, tingling tale of rates, phantoms, and chilling apparitions. These stories come from all over the world including Japan, India the UK and even ancient Rome don't miss stone cold classics like the Kit bag by. Blackwood a sinister account of a condemned murderers final wish and the lengths he'd go to fulfill it and the me Suray a Spanish tale of a wandering musician who here's a terrifyingly beautiful song in a burned-out monastery and is doomed to capture. It's notes. Until he dies, you can find follow haunted places, ghost stories free on spotify or wherever you get your podcasts and don't forget. October is our favorite month and one of our busiest. So make sure to search podcast network in the spotify search bar to see all our new shows. This episode of today in true crime is brought to you by simply safe simply safe was designed to be easy to use while protecting your whole home twenty, four seven. You can order it online with just the click of a button when mine arrived, I was eager to get it set up immediately it didn't take long I just had to place the sensors plugged in and connected to my Wifi. then. Suddenly my whole home was protected. 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On October Fifteenth Nineteen Ninety one the US Senate confirmed Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court of the United States despite credible reports of harassment by law professor, Anita Hill in the process, they woke many American women to the danger of a predominantly male government nineteen, ninety, two, the year following Anita Hill's testimony was dubbed the Year of the woman. Thanks to a record number of women elected into Public Office that included twenty four women elected into the House of Representatives more than doubling the total number of women in the house. At the time, four women were also elected to the Senate for A. Grand total of six still paltry numbers but at least things were moving in the right direction meanwhile claims of sexual harassment filed with Hill and Thomas's former workplace. The EOC increased Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of Nineteen ninety-one, giving more legal recourse to victims of sexual harassment in the workplace and state laws, and even corporate policy started to shift tending towards increased protection against harassment today many people see the viral metoo movement as a descendant of the work that started when Anita Hill spoke up on Capitol Hill, and who herself remains of vocal respected voice against harassment and discrimination of all kinds. But unfortunately, change has been far from linear when Brad Kavanagh was nominated to the Supreme Court by the trump administration in two thousand, eighteen, a disturbingly familiar drama played out in front of Congress and across TV screens around America. Cavanaugh was accused of sexual misconduct by psychology Professor Christine Blasi Ford. The alleged assault took place when Cavanaugh and Blahsy Ford were both teenagers Blasi four did not seek legal action against cavenaugh. But when he was under consideration for job on the highest court in the land, she sought to inform America about his character. Once again, the allegations swept the country into fervor of dissenting opinions ranging from disbelief at Blasi Ford to discussed at Cavenaugh, and once again despite the controversy, the judge made it to the Supreme Court bench. Of. Course progress isn't always linear and the fact that such similar scenes played out in nineteen, ninety, one and two thousand eighteen does not mean nothing has changed, but it serves as a reminder that the work of ensuring victims are heard and respected is far from. As Anita Hill, put it in an op-ed on the cavenaugh confirmation. Today the public expects better from our government than we got in Nineteen ninety-one when our representatives performed in ways that gave employer's permission to mishandle handle workplace harassment complaints. Now. We need to make sure the government meets those expectations. Thanks for listening today and true crime. I'm Vanessa Richardson for more stories about Washington dramas that rocked the nation checkout park cast original political scandals. Today in true crime is a podcast cast original. You can find more episodes of today and true crime and all other podcast originals for free on spotify not only does spotify already have all of your favorite music but now spotify is making it easy for you to enjoy all of your favorite podcast originals like today and true crime for free from your. Phone desktop or smart speaker to stream today true crime on spotify just open the APP and type today in true crime in the search bar we'll be back with a brand new episode tomorrow in True Crime Today in true crime was created by Max Cutler and is a podcast studios original. It is executive produced by Max Cutler Sound designed by Wand Boorda with production assistance by Ron Shapiro Carly Madden and Freddie Beckley this episode of today true crime was written by Nora Battelle with writing assistance by. Canon I'm Vanessa Richardson. Remember to join Alistair murden every Thursday for the all new series haunted places. Go stories don't miss the most chilling spirits ever imagined by authors from around the world follow haunted places go stories free on spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.