Nearly 30 years ago, a dramatic series of events played out in Washington D.C. that would shape the future of the U.S. Supreme Court and American politics.
A president's high court nominee appeared to be nearing confirmation when he suddenly faced allegations of a sexual nature that threatened to derail everything. A media frenzy. A public debate. Eventually, the accuser and the accused go in front of the American people to tell their stories.
This is not the story of Brett Kavanaugh, though some of the parallels are striking.
This is the story of the Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill, and the sexual harassment allegations that rocked Thomas' Supreme Court confirmation process. This episode in American history is re-examined and new revelations are made in Fox Nation's new documentary, "The Confirmation Chronicles Vol. 2: High-Tech Lynching."
Confirmation hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh dominated the media for weeks and scrutiny of the justice's past continues, as witnessed in the now-revised sexual assault allegations leveled against him in the New York Times.
One can imagine how the saga of Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill would have been covered today. These are the most explosive moments from those three days of public testimony that captivated the country.
In the course of her testimony, Anita Hill detailed her allegations of sexual harassment against Thomas, who was her supervisor at two government agencies.
"One of the oddest episodes I remember was an occasion in which Thomas was drinking a Coke in his office. Looked at the can and asked, 'Who has put pubic hair on my Coke?,'" alleged Hill during her testimony.
A former member of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time, Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., told Fox Nation that he and his colleagues were taken aback by the claims.
"A pubic hair in a coke can for God's sake. That was shocking stuff because none of us on the committee, none of us, through any kind of intelligence gathering, had heard a single thing about any of this. This was just a bombshell."
When it was Thomas' opportunity to testify, former Judiciary Committee member Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, suggested that Hill's allegations were false and inspired by a popular movie, "The Exorcist."
Hatch recited an excerpt from the novel in the hearing. The text itself reads: "Dennings had remarked to him, in passing, said Sharon, that there appeared to be 'an alien pubic hair floating round in my gin."
"What do you think about that, judge," Hatch asked Thomas.
"Senator, I think this whole affair is sick," the Judge replied.
"I think it's sick, too," Hatch agreed.
Hatch recounted the incident to Fox Nation, "I took a beating for 'The Exorcist,' but I just had to ask the question because it fitted…maybe not 100 percent, but pretty close to a hundred percent."
SENATORS SPECTER AND KENNEDY ERUPT
In one of the most contentious points of the hearing, the late-Senator Arlen Specter, who was a Republican at the time, questioned Hill over a USA Today report. The report claimed that Hill was assured that by Senate staffers that she would be able to sink Thomas' nomination, without ever having to publicly testify.
At first, Hill testified that she did not recall any such conversation, but after a recess, her story seemed to change.
"There was some indication that the nominee might not wish to continue the process," testified Hill.
Specter responded, "Isn't that somewhat different from your testimony this morning?"
"No, I do not believe that it is at variance," Hill answered.
"What am I missing here, professor Hill?" said Specter.
At this point, the late-Senator Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., interjected, setting off a tense exchange that was finally settled by then-Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, Joe Biden, D-Del.
Kennedy: "Let the witness speak her own words rather than having words put in her mouth."
Spector: "Mr. Chairman I object to that. I object to that vociferously. I'm asking questions here. If Senator Kennedy has anything to say let him participate in this hearing."
Biden: "Everybody calm down."
THOMAS' EMOTIONAL DEFENSE
One of the most lasting moments from the 1991 hearings originates in a phrase spoken by Thomas in his own defense, and that phrases inspired the title of this Fox Nation documentary.
"This is a circus. It's a national disgrace. And from my standpoint as a black American, as far as I'm concerned, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks, who in any way deign to think for themselves," said Thomas.
He continued, "And it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured, by a committee of the U.S. Senate rather than hung from a tree."
Former Senate Judiciary Committee member Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz., told FOX Nation, "The righteous indignation he displayed was what saved his nomination at that point."
"'The Confirmation Chronicles Vol. 2: High-tech Lynching" is available exclusively on Fox Nation.
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