A MO­MENT OF TRUTH

Who to be­lieve—the judge or the pro­fes­sor?

Newsweek - - Flashback - Ơ Writ­ten by david a. ka­plan, with bob cohn and ann mcdaniel in Washington, peter an­nin in Ok­la­homa and bu­reau re­ports.

clarence thomas and anita hill sat un­der the same hot white lights at the United States Se­nate, a dam­aged man and an in­jured woman de­mand­ing jus­tice. Two par­al­lel lives that had looked ex­em­plary sud­denly col­lided over an ugly story of sex­ual ha­rass­ment. Poised and in­tel­li­gent, Hill said that when she had worked for Thomas a decade ear­lier, he ha­rassed her with barn­yard talk of porn flicks, group sex, bes­tial­ity and his own sex­ual prow­ess. Jaw taut with out­rage, Thomas cat­e­gor­i­cally de­nied all of it, ar­gu­ing that a mob from the sewer was out to lynch him. One wit­ness was telling the truth, the other was ly­ing; one was a vic­tim, the other a hyp­ocrite. But which was which?

As the nee­dle of cred­i­bil­ity swung back and forth be­tween

the Supreme Court nom­i­nee and the young pro­fes­sor of law, the coun­try sat glued to the television, watch­ing a spec­ta­cle that was at first riv­et­ing, then de­press­ing, and ul­ti­mately re­volt­ing. Pub­lic of­fi­cials bab­bled over breasts, pu­bic hair, the me­ter­age of penises and the ex­ploits of a porn star called Long Dong Sil­ver. The ac­cused sat glar­ing, his wife at his side weep­ing at the raw de­tails. The ac­cuser lis­tened as a panel of 14 men won­dered aloud whether she was a fan­ta­sist who had made it all up. To watch was to be­come a voyeur. The X-rated an­tics were hard to stom­ach—and harder to turn off.

Never be­fore had the is­sue of sex­ual ha­rass­ment welled up into such a large and emo­tional pub­lic fo­rum. There was no way that roughly 4 mil­lion years of male supremacy was go­ing to yield to Robert’s Rules of Or­der. But men nod­ding as sen­a­tors de­manded to know why any in­frac­tion 10 years old should ruin Thomas’s ca­reer also found them­selves un­easily search­ing their own mem­o­ries for that furtive grope or off-color joke. Women ad­mir­ing Hill’s nerve re­called mo­ments they or a friend had been in Hill’s shoes, the oc­ca­sions they had re­mained silent. It happened all the time, they said; the only rea­son men didn’t get it was be­cause they never tried.

The per­for­mance of the Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee, with pos­tur­ing sen­a­tors, staffers and re­porters tum­bling over one an­other, raised a nasty ques­tion: Had the process it­self run amok? There had to be a bet­ter way to pick a Supreme Court jus­tice. “The judge was wronged. Anita Hill was wronged. The process was wronged,” com­mit­tee Chair­man Joseph Bi­den con­ceded. Was this the best the sys­tem had to of­fer? The na­tion had re­ceived a seis­mic jolt, but everyone wound up feel­ing soiled.

Anatomy of a De­ba­cle: Be­hind the Scenes

the thomas-hill hear­ing was one of those re­mark­able mo­ments in the po­lit­i­cal life and so­cial con­scious­ness of a gen­er­a­tion. Far more was at stake than a seat on the Supreme Court, more than de­ci­pher­ing what, if any­thing, happened be­tween a man and a woman 10 years ago. The Se­nate it­self, 98 per­cent male, was on trial: Had it al­most let a brute slip his way onto the court? Or was it an ac­com­plice in a de­spi­ca­ble case of char­ac­ter as­sas­si­na­tion?

On ev­ery net­work and for 21 hours, the two wit­nesses, sep­a­rately, of­fered their po­lar ver­sions to the Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee. First in the dock was Thomas, who un­equiv­o­cally de­nied that he had sex­u­ally ha­rassed Hill when they worked to­gether from 1981 to 1983 at the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and then the Equal Em­ploy­ment Op­por­tu­nity Com­mis­sion (EEOC). He had dis­missed his White House han­dlers, and it showed. In a tone of fury and rue, he skew­ered the sen­a­tors. “This is Kafkaesque. Enough is enough,” he said. “I have not said or done the things that Anita Hill has al­leged. God has got­ten me through…and he is my judge.” It was a per­ora­tion that made the pres­i­dent of the United States [George H.W. Bush] weep.

Then Hill of­fered her ex­cru­ci­at­ing ac­count. In lurid de­tail, she de­scribed Thomas as a boss who pestered her for dates and spoke graph­i­cally about pornog­ra­phy, bes­tial­ity, rape and his skills as a lover. “He talked about porno­graphic ma­te­ri­als de­pict­ing in­di­vid­u­als with large penises or large breasts in­volved in var­i­ous sex acts,” she tes­ti­fied. The “odd­est episode,” Hill said, oc­curred when he was drink­ing a Coke in his EEOC of­fice. “He got up from the ta­ble at which we were work­ing, went over to his desk to get the Coke, looked at the can and asked, ‘Who has put pu­bic hair on my Coke?’”

When Thomas re­turned to the wit­ness ta­ble shortly af­ter 8 p.m., he was even an­grier than he had been in the morn­ing. “This is a cir­cus, it’s a na­tional dis­grace, and from my stand­point as a black

Amer­i­can…it’s a high-tech lynch­ing for up­pity blacks,” he said. “It is a mes­sage that…you will be lynched, de­stroyed, car­i­ca­tured by a com­mit­tee of the U.S. Se­nate rather than hung from a tree.”

Such vir­u­lent words were the cul­mi­na­tion of a week un­prece­dented even in the seen-it-all-be­fore cul­ture of Washington. Just a Sun­day ago, Thomas’s con­fir­ma­tion looked like a lock. How his nom­i­na­tion blew apart—at the warped speed only Amer­i­can pol­i­tics can move—is a story about stu­pid­ity and luck, be­trayal and in­dif­fer­ence, cyn­i­cism and leaks. Rarely have so many politi­cians mis­cal­cu­lated so badly in such a short amount of time.

The Sleaze Hun­ters

in the be­gin­ning, as it in­ex­orably seems to be un­der the new hard­ball rules of pol­i­tics, there was the search for sleaze.

Last July, as Clarence Thomas stood be­side Pres­i­dent Bush on a Ken­neb­unkport lawn to ac­cept his nom­i­na­tion, Repub­li­cans could hardly con­tain their glee. Once more, Bush had out­foxed the Democrats. How could white sen­a­tors vote against a black nom­i­nee who, though con­ser­va­tive, had risen from the depths of South­ern poverty? Lib­eral in­ter­est groups, with only the scalp of Robert Bork to show for all their ju­di­cial head­hunt­ing in re­cent years, none­the­less held out hope. At least it was worth the ef­fort, given that the 43-year-old Thomas might serve on the high court into the 2030s. Since his con­tro­ver­sial le­gal views alone were un­likely to sway sen­a­tors to vote him down, liberals went out to scour Thomas’s per­sonal life. Jour­nal­ist Juan Wil­liams had done sev­eral pro­files of Thomas over the years. In a Washington Post op-ed piece last week, Wil­liams re­vealed that all sum­mer long he was called by ea­ger Se­nate staffers seek­ing “any­thing on your [in­ter­view] tapes we can use to stop Thomas.” Did he ever take money from the South African gov­ern­ment? Did he beat his first wife?

Noth­ing sur­faced—un­til they got lucky. In Au­gust, Nan Aron, head of the Al­liance for Jus­tice, which op­posed Thomas, got a call from a man say­ing Thomas had ha­rassed an em­ployee named Anita Hill in the early ’80s. The caller, whom Aron knew, had been a class­mate of Hill’s at Yale Law School. It isn’t known whether he was call­ing at Hill’s be­hest or with her knowl­edge. In any event, Aron passed along the in­for­ma­tion to the staff of Demo­cratic Sen­a­tor Howard Met­zen­baum, the only mem­ber of the Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee to vote against Thomas’s suc­cess­ful nom­i­na­tion to the fed­eral ap­peals court in Washington in 1990. Met­zen­baum seemed to be the most likely sen­a­tor to pur­sue the tip. It was a long shot.

Last-minute charges per­co­late up in many Supreme Court fights, and usu­ally don’t pan out. Met­zen­baum’s La­bor Com­mit­tee staff went for­ward. On Septem­ber 3 or 4, a fe­male aide phoned Hill. Ac­cord­ing to Met­zen­baum’s chronol­ogy, the call was part of a rou­tine in­quiry to three women who worked with Thomas at EEOC. Hill, a law pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of Ok­la­homa, was asked about such le­gal is­sues as gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion. The aide men­tioned ru­mors of sex­ual ha­rass­ment, but Hill of­fered noth­ing. On Septem­ber 5, a se­cond La­bor aide, Ricki Sei­d­man, called Hill. Sei­d­man works as an in­ves­ti­ga­tor for Demo­cratic Sen­a­tor Ted Kennedy, who, like Met­zen­baum, sits on both La­bor and Ju­di­ciary. This time Hill said she needed to think about whether she would dis­cuss ha­rass­ment.

Four days later, Hill agreed to talk. Sei­d­man re­ferred her to a Met­zen­baum lawyer named James Brud­ney, who had at­tended Yale with Hill. The next day—when the first round of Thomas’s con­fir­ma­tion hear­ings be­gan—hill de­tailed her ac­cu­sa­tions to Brud­ney. He wasn’t on the Ju­di­ciary staff, so, af­ter con­sult­ing Met­zen­baum, he for­warded the charges to

AS THE NEE­DLE OF CRED­I­BIL­ITY SWUNG BACK AND FORTH BE­TWEEN THOMAS AND HILL, THE COUN­TRY WATCHED A SPEC­TA­CLE THAT WAS AT FIRST RIV­ET­ING, THEN DE­PRESS­ING, AND UL­TI­MATELY RE­VOLT­ING.

Har­riet Grant, chief of nom­i­na­tions for Ju­di­ciary. On Septem­ber 12, in two calls, Hill re­peated her story to Grant.

The Fum­ble

the ball was rolling—with one road­block. ac­cord­ing to Bi­den, Hill de­manded con­fi­den­tial­ity—that Thomas not be in­formed of her charges and that the FBI un­der­take no in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Hill told Grant that she wanted to share her con­cerns with the com­mit­tee to “re­move re­spon­si­bil­ity” and “take it out of [her] hands.” Bi­den de­cided not to tell other com­mit­tee mem­bers of the al­le­ga­tions. Only he, Met­zen­baum and Kennedy knew at this point.

Over the next week, as the Thomas hear­ings con­tin­ued, Hill spoke to no one at Ju­di­ciary. Grant did re­ceive one call—from Su­san Ho­er­ch­ner, a Yale class­mate of Hill’s, who told Grant that Hill con­fided in her in the spring of 1981, at the time of the first al­leged ha­rass­ment by Thomas. Ho­er­ch­ner cor­rob­o­rated Hill’s ac­count, re­port­ing that Hill said Thomas caused her to doubt her own pro­fes­sional abil­i­ties.

On Septem­ber 19, Hill called Grant again. For the first time, Hill said she wanted all com­mit­tee mem­bers to know her story, even if her name had to be used. Hill in­sisted she didn’t want to “aban­don” her con­cerns about Thomas. The day be­fore, she had given an in­ter­view to the Univer­sity of Ok­la­homa stu­dent news­pa­per. Though she made no men­tion of ha­rass­ment, she said “there were a lot of bet­ter” can­di­dates than Thomas.

Still, she was not will­ing to in­volve the FBI, a rou­tine step Bi­den de­manded be­fore the is­sue could go fur­ther. Hill thought it over, con­clud­ing on Septem­ber 21 that she didn’t want the FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­cause she was “skep­ti­cal about its util­ity.” Fi­nally, two days later, in what was at least the sev­enth con­ver­sa­tion that week be­tween Hill and the Ju­di­ciary staff, Hill said she would sub­mit a state­ment of her charges to the com­mit­tee and then agree to bring in the FBI.

Through­out these Septem­ber ne­go­ti­a­tions, some sen­a­tors sus­pect Hill was in reg­u­lar con­tact with aides to Kennedy and Met­zen­baum, es­pe­cially Brud­ney. Thomas’s sup­port­ers point to them as the source of al­leged arm-twist­ing on the Hill. Sen­a­tor Den­nis Deconcini, a Demo­crat, says it’s ap­par­ent that “a La­bor com­mit­tee aide was giv­ing her ad­vice.” Sim­i­larly, the White House won­ders if Hill was bad­gered into re­lent­ing on con­fi­den­tial­ity.

Hill faxed her four-page state­ment to the com­mit­tee on Septem­ber 23. Bi­den passed it on to the White House and FBI. This was the first the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion had heard of the claims. White House coun­sel C. Boy­den Gray or­dered the FBI to in­ves­ti­gate. While the pres­i­dent was briefed, he and his ad­vis­ers per­ceived no tick­ing time bomb; they as­sumed the charges would prove false. FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tors ques­tioned Hill the same day in Ok­la­homa. Over the next two days, the FBI also talked with Ho­er­ch­ner and Thomas him­self. The nom­i­nee learned of the al­le­ga­tions when the FBI showed up at his sub­ur­ban Vir­ginia house to in­ter­view him; he de­nied the al­le­ga­tions. The FBI com­pleted its re­port on the 25th. Sources who’ve seen it say it reads like a bad wire story, a col­lec­tion of he-said, she-said quotes that reaches no con­clu­sion. None­the­less, the White House and Repub­li­can sen­a­tors would even­tu­ally claim pub­licly that the re­port proved Hill wrong.

The White House sent Bi­den the re­port, along with a memo from Ken Du­ber­stein, the for­mer Rea­gan chief of staff hired to man­age Thomas’s con­fir­ma­tion ma­chine. Bi­den and his de­fend­ers say Hill’s de­sire for con­fi­den­tial­ity pre­cluded fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion. “Talk about sex­ual ha­rass­ment,” says a friend of Bi­den. “How could you pres­sure this woman?” Of course, he could have called Hill to Washington so that he could meet with her pri­vately to as­sess her cred­i­bil­ity. He could have sum­moned Hill and Thomas into a closed com­mit­tee ses­sion, though that surely risked a leak. Or he or any other com­mit­tee mem­ber could have asked for a de­lay in the vote, pend­ing an at­tempt at fur­ther in­quiry.

Bi­den made one ob­vi­ous mis­take. It was on the night of Septem­ber 25, af­ter he had re­ceived the FBI re­port. Ad­mit­tedly un­der pres­sure from the White House to get Thomas con­firmed be­fore the Supreme Court started its term Oc­to­ber 7, Bi­den sched­uled the Ju­di­ciary vote on Thomas for Septem­ber 27. Yet he knew he wouldn’t be brief­ing most of his fel­low com­mit­tee Democrats on the Hill charges un­til the 26th. That gave col­leagues lit­tle chance to ask for a post­pone­ment of the vote. Bi­den says he or an aide ver­bally briefed each of the seven Democrats on the 25th or 26th, and that each had ac­cess to both the FBI re­port and Hill’s state­ment be­fore the vote on Fri­day the 27th.

But some of the sen­a­tors say Bi­den gave them short shrift; at least

one was never told of the re­port, Newsweek has learned. Hill’s state­ment was given to the other com­mit­tee Democrats just 20 min­utes be­fore the vote—while Bi­den was on the Se­nate floor an­nounc­ing his op­po­si­tion to Thomas even as he vouched for his char­ac­ter.

Bi­den wasn’t the only one who dropped the ball. Newsweek has learned that Sen­a­tor Strom Thur­mond, the rank­ing Repub­li­can on Ju­di­ciary, didn’t tell all the five GOP mem­bers of the al­le­ga­tions. Arlen Specter, a wa­ver­ing vote, first heard about Hill on Thurs­day (from two Demo­cratic col­leagues); he met with Thomas for 30 min­utes the morn­ing of the vote. Thur­mond staffers told Se­nate Repub­li­can Hank Brown’s aides of the charges but said it con­tained “noth­ing of sig­nif­i­cance,” ac­cord­ing to Brown. Charles Grass­ley learned of Hill in news­pa­pers more than a week later. Paul Si­mon, a Demo­crat, is the only sen­a­tor who spoke to Anita Hill prior to the Fri­day vote. He re­ceived a call from one of Hill’s friends ask­ing that he phone her. When they spoke, Hill asked Si­mon to give her state­ment out to all 100 sen­a­tors but keep it oth­er­wise con­fi­den­tial. Si­mon sug­gested a leak would inevitably oc­cur, so Hill de­cided against dis­tri­bu­tion.

De­spite the 7-7 dead­lock by the Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee, Thomas’s prospects for con­fir­ma­tion were ex­cel­lent. The week of Septem­ber 30, mod­er­ate Democrats be­gan declar­ing sup­port. By Fri­day, Thomas by all counts had enough votes to win. Go­ing into the week­end—with a full Se­nate vote sched­uled for Tues­day—what could go wrong?

The Bomb­shell

sun­day is a sleepy day in the cap­i­tal. other than church­go­ers, the only folks in stock­ings and ties seem to be on David Brink­ley’s show. It was this calm that Newsday and Na­tional Pub­lic Ra­dio dis­turbed on Oc­to­ber 6 when they ran sto­ries on Hill’s ac­cu­sa­tions. Ac­tu­ally, the ad­min­is­tra­tion and Thomas knew the night be­fore that the Hill story was about to break. Du­ber­stein turned on the spin cy­cle. Sen­a­tor John Dan­forth, the Mis­souri Repub­li­can and Thomas’s chief pa­tron, held an im­promptu press con­fer­ence at home. They had no idea this bomb­shell would turn out to be ther­monu­clear, with a chain re­ac­tion to match. Dan­forth should have lis­tened to his wife. “I dis­missed it, and she didn’t,” he ac­knowl­edged to The New York Times.

On Mon­day morn­ing, the Demo­cratic Se­nate lead­er­ship main­tained the vote on Thomas would pro­ceed as sched­uled the next day. The White House main­tained a low pro­file, though aides did ac­cuse the Democrats of a smear cam­paign. The as­sump­tion that the charges would go away, how­ever, evap­o­rated when Anita Hill went on television. In a one-hour press con­fer­ence beamed from Nor­man, Ok­la­homa, Hill may have killed Clarence Thomas’s ca­reer plans for the next 40 years. She was cred­i­ble, she was ar­tic­u­late, she was poised—even in the face of enough men­ac­ing phone calls at home that she no­ti­fied the po­lice. “I re­sent the idea that peo­ple would blame the mes­sen­ger for the mes­sage, rather than look­ing at the con­tent of the mes­sage it­self,” she said. The po­lit­i­cal seismographs in Washington recorded the ef­fect: Women’s groups mo­bi­lized, phones blew off the hook in the Se­nate.

Still, the White House con­tin­ued to be­lieve Thomas had the votes. Sev­eral key sen­a­tors, Newsweek has learned, told ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials they needed some ev­i­dence, as one of­fi­cial put it, to “hide be­hind…some­thing that would al­low them to say, ‘I con­sid­ered his story and hers, and he’s telling the truth.’” Gray’s of­fice lined up women who worked with Thomas at the EEOC who would sing his praises. At 4 p.m., Bush’s team gath­ered to re­assess the mess. No women were present. They con­cluded that, be­cause Hill con­tin­ued her re­la­tion­ship with Thomas long af­ter she left the EEOC, sen­a­tors could be con­vinced that she could not pos­si­bly have viewed his al­leged be­hav­ior as very se­ri­ous.

Leak hunt­ing be­came an ob­ses­sion for Repub­li­can sen­a­tors. Their sus­pi­cion cen­tered on Met­zen­baum, Kennedy and their staffs. Hatch di­rectly ac­cused Met­zen­baum—who de­nied it—and he later apol­o­gized. Brown said he in­tends this week to ask for the ap­point­ment of a spe­cial coun­sel. The bad blood spilled over to the Demo­cratic staffs. Newsweek has learned that one meeting of all the chief lawyers for the Demo­cratic mem­bers of Ju­di­ciary turned into a shout­ing con­test.

At is­sue was Bi­den’s vivi­sec­tion in the press by these lawyers be­ing quoted anony­mously. “Peo­ple don’t trust each other any­more,” said a par­tic­i­pant.

Thomas was ac­tive on his own be­half. Late Mon­day, in one of their many phone con­ver­sa­tions that day, Thomas told Dan­forth that Hill had called him through­out the ’80s. Dan­forth tracked down Thomas’s for­mer sec­re­tary, who told him there were phone logs of Thomas’s mes­sages. That night, Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Alan Simp­son read from them on Night­line—there were 11 calls over a six-year pe­riod—to bol­ster the case that Hill hardly seemed too up­set with her for­mer boss. The next day the phone logs were fed to the press. “We thought they’d put an end to it,” says a se­nior ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial. “Lit­tle did we know.”

The Re­volt

on tues­day, specter stunned the white house by ask­ing to post­pone the vote that night. Democrats warned they would vote Thomas down if forced to vote. The key protest may ac­tu­ally have been chore­ographed over at the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives. Around mid­day, seven fe­male mem­bers of the House marched to the Capi­tol room where the Demo­cratic sen­a­tors were in cau­cus. If the boys didn’t “get it” be­fore, they did now. The sym­bol­ism was pal­pa­ble. “The thing everyone mis­cal­cu­lated was the re­ac­tion of the women, the girls’ vote,” says a Bush ad­viser. “The Se­nate crum­bled be­fore our very eyes.” Two hours af­ter the sched­uled vote and a sple­netic day of C-SPANING, sen­a­tors for­mally agreed to de­lay the vote by a week.

That left only two and a half days to pre­pare for the new round of Ju­di­ciary hear­ings, but that was plenty of time to fan the flames. Bush was en­raged and vowed war on the Democrats af­ter the cur­tain went down on the Thomas mat­ter. Some of the Democrats con­tin­ued to wage war among them­selves. And on Thurs­day, the news that Thomas sup­port­ers feared most: An­other woman, jour­nal­ist An­gela Wright, had come for­ward to claim Thomas had ha­rassed her. Yet, even with that rev­e­la­tion, no­body could have anticipated the per­verse spell on Fri­day and Satur­day of the Hill-thomas show­down.

Un­der the bright lights, ripped bare be­fore the Amer­i­can pub­lic, Hill and Thomas were both ef­fec­tive wit­nesses. She of­fered com­pelling speci­ficity; he, at times in tears, spoke pas­sion­ately of a process out of con­trol, of a rep­u­ta­tion and a fam­ily shat­tered. The Repub­li­cans went af­ter her for be­ing in­con­sis­tent and op­por­tunis­tic, and sug­gested her ref­er­ence to “Long Dong Sil­ver” was in­spired by a court case in Kansas. The Democrats, if gin­gerly, kept ask­ing him how on earth his ac­cuser could make up so much. Hill and Thomas both had le­gions of char­ac­ter ref­er­ences. She even vol­un­teered to take a poly­graph.

Like great drama, though, there will be no ob­jec­tive truth. In the end, the sto­ries of Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill are ir­rec­on­cil­able, un­less one of them ca­pit­u­lates and owns up to per­jury. The Se­nate has an im­pos­si­ble choice. Ei­ther way, it will com­mit a ter­ri­ble wrong. In his clos­ing re­marks to Thomas Satur­day night, Bi­den said “process” wasn’t the prob­lem. That was his re­sponse to Hill and Thomas, who had man­aged to agree on one thing: They were treated mis­er­ably. Bi­den was right only in the sense that the process led to an ad­mirable re­sult—aware­ness about ha­rass­ment.

But what of the way we con­duct our na­tional soul-search­ing? Sun­shine may be a dis­in­fec­tant; it can also be blind­ing. From the way Hill’s al­le­ga­tion emerged to the way it played out in prime time, from the in­sen­si­tiv­ity of the sen­a­tors to the hu­mil­i­a­tion of two peo­ple, the Thomas spec­ta­cle hardly is an en­dorse­ment of free­wheel­ing pol­i­tics. The pub­lic was mes­mer­ized by the show, yet shud­dered at the in­dig­nity of it all. Pol­i­tics has be­come pathol­ogy.

THE PO­LIT­I­CAL SEISMOGRAPHS IN WASHINGTON RECORDED THE EF­FECT. WOMEN MO­BI­LIZED, SE­NATE PHONES FLEW OFF THE HOOK.

JUDGE AND JURY In 1991, the Se­nate it­self—98 per­cent male—was on trial. From top: Bi­den and Kennedy (cen­ter) with mem­bers of the Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee;Newsweek’s Oc­to­ber 21 cover; Thomas de­nied ev­ery al­le­ga­tion, call­ing the hear­ings “a cir­cus.”

BLUE STEEL Hill—in an outɿt that would be­come iconic—never lost her poise, even af­ter 5epub­li­cans at­tacked her for op­por­tunism and ac­cused her of “in­tro­duc­ing slea]e” to the Se­nate.

Judge Ka­vanaugh, above, giv­ing tes­ti­mony on Septem­ber 27; this time Ford, his ac­cuser, spoke ɿrst. 5ight: Out­side, hun­dreds protested his nom­i­na­tion on Capi­tol Hill. DE­FEN­SIVE GES­TURES

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