Former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson has brought the topic of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ impeachment to the limelight once again.
In her detailed op-ed, the writer did not solely focus on the Anita Hill’s famous 1991 testimony before the controversial Senate Judiciary Committee in which she claimed she was sexually harassed by Thomas. Among other things, Thomas was accused of talking with Hill about adult films at work.
Abramson argued Thomas had lied under oath while responding to those accusations.
At the time, the Supreme Court associate justice claimed he never talked to women about inappropriate films. However, several women gave statements online that Abramson cited in her article, where the women explain how they were ready to testify against Thomas and his alleged sexual harassment.
All those statements would have confirmed Hill’s testimony, but Thomas kept denying the allegations against him.
The former NYT editor said for a justice, lying under oath was an impeachable offense.
“Lying is, for lawyers, a cardinal sin. State disciplinary committees regularly institute proceedings against lawyers for knowingly lying in court, with punishments that can include disbarment,” she wrote. “Since 1989, three federal judges have been impeached and forced from office for charges that include lying. The idea of someone so flagrantly telling untruths to ascend to the highest legal position in the U.S. remains shocking, in addition to its being illegal.”
Moira Smith, an attorney from Alaska, had also accused Thomas of groping her repeatedly during a dinner 20 years ago when she was 23 and Thomas, her boss, was 48. In 2016, Thomas called Smith's claims “preposterous” and said “it never happened,” according to Time, which quoted a spokesperson for the Supreme Court.
Another lawyer, Lillian McEwen, also came forward and accused Thomas of sexual harassment.
“The Clarence I know was certainly capable not only of doing the things that Anita Hill said he did, but it would be totally consistent with the way he lived his personal life then,” she said.
MeEwan reportedly wrote to then-Democratic Sen. Joe Biden before Thomas’ confirmation about the relevant evidence she had.
But she was never contacted.
Abramson called Thomas' position in the court as having been “devastating for women’s rights, mentioning his votes on cases involving equal-pay protections and employers’ religious objections to supplying birth control.”
“His worldview, with its consistent objectification of women, is the one that’s shaping the contours of what’s possible for women in America today, more than that of just about any man alive, save for his fellow justices,” she wrote.
Only time will tell if an alleged sexual predator will be removed from high office, considering business magnate Donald Trump, who openly bragged about groping women, is now the president of the United States.
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