Almost three decades later, the stage is set for another eerily similar high-stakes, high-profile showdown. Ford's lawyers have asked that an FBI investigation be conducted before she appears before the body, and, during her interview with ABC, Hill urged senators to comply with that request. I mean, we have activists, the Democratic base, seizing this to try and derail Kavanaugh's confirmation - Republicans, President Trump seizing it to try to do the opposite, to get him confirmed. She accused Thomas of sexual harassment in the workplace when he was her supervisor; he categorically denied her account.
The hearings reached some 20 million American homes - and many more around the world - as Hill's testimony was met by palpable skepticism from the 14 white men on the Senate Judiciary Panel, who spent much of the three-day event probing her credibility.
Thomas is now a Supreme Court Justice.
October 11, 1991: Hill testifies that Thomas had sexually harassed her while she worked with him at the Education Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
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In 1992, 24 women were elected to the House of Representatives, four were elected to the Senate. And it's what's happening now after Christine Blasey Ford went public with her accusation that Judge Brett Kavnaugh sexually assaulted her during a high school party in the early 1980s.
Ford has said Kavanaugh was drunk and that he jumped on her and tried to pull off her clothes at the party.
"Senator Shelby believes that these are serious accusations", his communications director said.
"We're living in a different time than 27 years ago" during the Thomas hearings, said Patti Solis Doyle, who served as Biden's campaign chief of staff in 2008, when he was the vice presidential nominee. "And my one regret is that I wasn't able to tone down the attacks on her by some of my Republican friends". Since the allegation was made public last week, supporters of Kavanaugh and Blasey have come out in full force to take sides.
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And the #MeToo movement has sparked a national conversation over entrenched sexual violence and gender inequality, triggering the ouster of dozens of men from power positions since Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein's fall in October 2017. Kavanaugh was originally scheduled to receive a confirmation vote from the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, but that vote has been postponed until next week.
A repeat of that spectacle is "not sufficient", said Hill, now a law, social policy and gender studies professor at Brandeis University. "On several occasions Thomas told me graphically of his own sexual prowess". "He believes the vote should be postponed to allow this to happen appropriately, because this is an appointment for life to the nation's highest court, and getting the decision right is more important than getting it done on a rushed timeline".
"As that same committee, on which sit some of the same members as almost three decades ago, now moves forward with the Kavanaugh confirmation proceedings, the integrity of the court, the country's commitment to addressing sexual violence as a matter of public interest, and the lives of the two principal witnesses who will be testifying hang in the balance", Hill wrote.
During the 1991 hearing, Hill said, Arlen Specter, the late Senator from Pennsylvania, "wasn't interested really in pursuing the truth of my testimony, but was more interested in discrediting me".
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