Sen. Grassley sets deadline for Kavanaugh accuser

Will controversy surrounding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh drive women to the polls during the November elections? CNN's John Berman has more.

Posted: Sep 21, 2018 12:54 AM
Updated: Sep 21, 2018 12:56 AM

A Supreme Court nominee with an abysmal record on protecting women's and civil rights stands poised to be confirmed by the Senate. Women's and civil society organizations have loudly declared that his confirmation would be detrimental to working people and the economically vulnerable. His record on a woman's right to abortion and on agency over our bodies threatens to gut Roe v. Wade and eradicate women's reproductive rights.

Just before the vote, a female professor bravely comes out publicly with damning allegations that the nominee sexually harassed and intimidated her (allegations which the nominee vehemently denies).

Sound familiar? I am not talking about Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, but about then-Judge Clarence Thomas, who was a nominee to our nation's highest court in 1991.

The woman, we all know, was Anita Hill. And I was there as her story unfolded. Twenty-seven years ago, on Yom Kippur eve, I testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in my role as President of the Women's Legal Defense Fund, which became the National Partnership for Women & Families. I was joined by wonderful colleagues, including Professor Patricia King of Georgetown University and Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women's Law Center.

At the time I testified that Judge Clarence Thomas appeared to lack a demonstrated commitment to equal justice. I stated that his record cast grave doubt on his commitment to affirm and support fundamental principles of equal employment opportunity, the constitutional protections against gender discrimination and reproductive freedom. His record had shown an extensive pattern of disregard of principles of fundamental importance to women and their families.

Of course, the parallels between then and now are unmistakable.

Shortly after my testimony, Hill's story was leaked to the press, and she was asked to testify before the Senate. What happened next continues to be one of the most disgraceful episodes in our country's modern history.

Hill came before the Senate and was greeted by an all-male panel, led by Republicans who sought to prosecute her, while Democrats, at best, remained neutral fact-finders. This phony trial resulted in a gross imbalance of power and meant that no one defended Hill and no one prosecuted Thomas. What was on trial was not the fitness of Thomas to be the next Supreme Court justice but instead Hill's moral character and reputation as a woman.

Immediately after the hearing, it was branded as a "he said, she said" moment -- with much of the country undecided. But this would not remain so.

Steadily brewing was the angst, anger and ire of women across the country who slowly began to talk with their coworkers, families, spouses and each other. This was the 1991 version of "Me Too." Women all over the country shared stories realizing that they, too, had been survivors of similar harassment and even worse -- assault and violence.

This brewing anger would lead to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and what we now know as the "Year of the Woman."

This sentiment led to women across the country turning out to disrupt the misuse of male political power that had marked the Thomas-Hill hearing. For the first time, we witnessed four women being elected to the Senate in the same year, resulting in a paradigm shift.

Today, another woman has been forced to come forward with allegations against a Supreme Court nominee, allegations which the nominee strongly denies. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is courageously speaking out about an extremely traumatic sexual incident. Her accusations are credible and she has corroboration that long pre-dates Kavanaugh's nomination to a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, including reports from a therapist in 2012 and a polygraph test this past summer.

I believe Ford and stand with women all across this country in demanding that the Senate hold a full and fair investigation.

That means ensuring that Ford's allegations are investigated by experts who have experience in handling the trauma of sexual assault and violence. That also means ensuring that, unlike Hill, we don't insist on putting Ford on trial for being a survivor of sexual assault. And that means ensuring that critics who obfuscate and dismiss Ford's charges as outdated antics of his youth do not prevail.

In the era of #MeToo, we have torn down the curtain on male abuse of power and toppled the notion that some people are too big to fail. While the stories of courageous women have been inspiring, we are still grappling with how to create systemic change. The court of public opinion has led in this fight. Now it is time for democracy and government to meet the will of the people.

A fair investigation gives us an opportunity to show women across the country that if they dare to speak out, they are not alone and will be backed by our nation's institutions. While we failed Anita Hill, we have an opportunity to do better by Christine Blasey Ford. I am hopeful that this time we will get it right.

We must do better. And we will not go back to 1991. Women are watching.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 697533

Reported Deaths: 13138
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion951321706
Lake50779930
Allen38511669
Hamilton33981404
St. Joseph33279535
Elkhart26810431
Vanderburgh21931393
Tippecanoe21440212
Johnson17325371
Porter17012297
Hendricks16631308
Clark12592190
Madison12223335
Vigo12089243
Monroe11237166
LaPorte10601204
Delaware10241182
Howard9555211
Kosciusko8999112
Hancock7842137
Bartholomew7797152
Warrick7657155
Floyd7501175
Wayne6846196
Grant6724167
Boone647399
Morgan6335137
Dubois6052117
Marshall5709108
Cass5657102
Dearborn564674
Henry5545100
Noble532583
Jackson489469
Shelby474095
Lawrence4305118
Gibson424988
Harrison424870
Montgomery414486
Clinton413153
DeKalb402583
Huntington371880
Whitley371039
Miami369565
Knox363589
Steuben358457
Putnam350560
Wabash344677
Jasper341646
Adams336652
Ripley332368
Jefferson306479
White305954
Daviess287999
Wells283580
Decatur278092
Fayette276562
Greene268685
Posey267333
Scott258553
Clay250744
LaGrange249970
Randolph233379
Washington228429
Spencer226731
Jennings223947
Fountain207245
Sullivan207041
Starke199352
Owen190856
Fulton188939
Jay184829
Carroll184520
Perry178536
Orange175552
Rush169324
Vermillion165343
Franklin164435
Tipton160343
Parke143416
Blackford131730
Pike129634
Pulaski112245
Newton102334
Brown98840
Crawford96814
Benton94513
Martin81915
Warren78315
Switzerland7678
Union69410
Ohio55311
Unassigned0405

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1037600

Reported Deaths: 18827
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1203461345
Cuyahoga1048492040
Hamilton774221164
Montgomery49484984
Summit44494904
Lucas39105757
Butler37437566
Stark31094890
Lorain23775467
Warren23688291
Mahoning20622581
Lake19698360
Clermont19305226
Delaware17783130
Licking15970205
Fairfield15493195
Trumbull15377458
Medina14662255
Greene14484233
Clark13433287
Wood12547182
Portage12144193
Allen11216229
Richland10899197
Miami10455211
Muskingum8639127
Columbiana8478225
Wayne8451209
Pickaway8388120
Tuscarawas8311239
Marion8297135
Erie7415153
Ross6636145
Hancock6595123
Geauga6449146
Ashtabula6355163
Scioto625299
Belmont5518158
Union550847
Lawrence5435102
Huron5229112
Darke5225121
Jefferson5210147
Sandusky5087118
Seneca5048118
Washington5029107
Athens493654
Auglaize470484
Mercer467884
Shelby453289
Knox4332108
Putnam417298
Madison416157
Ashland408986
Fulton402165
Defiance395096
Brown383855
Crawford3819100
Logan369676
Preble367995
Clinton356859
Ottawa351978
Highland344858
Williams317574
Champaign317055
Jackson304451
Guernsey303348
Perry286449
Fayette276348
Morrow272639
Henry261266
Hardin261063
Coshocton255957
Holmes251499
Van Wert237462
Gallia232146
Pike230931
Adams226151
Wyandot224153
Hocking207057
Carroll187746
Paulding167538
Meigs140838
Noble131737
Monroe128441
Morgan105722
Harrison104836
Vinton80913
Unassigned01
Fort Wayne
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Angola
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Huntington
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Lima
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Rain showers continue Saturday evening, as will a few thunderstorms. Overnight, rain will taper off a little as temperatures drop into the mid 40s. On Sunday, rain chances return in late morning and last much of the day. Temperatures max out in the mid 50s and winds will be brisk at times.
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