Skip to Content
News

Anita Hill says she’s ‘ready to hold Joe Biden accountable’ for role in 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings

Anita Hill said she’s “ready to hold Joe Biden accountable” for his role in leading the confirmation hearing of now-Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, whom she publicly accused of sexual harassment nearly 30 years ago.

“Have I forgiven Joe Biden? I’m ready to move on, but I am also ready to hold Joe Biden accountable. Accountability means acknowledging your role in a problem and the harm it’s caused. Acknowledging that you have culpability,” Hill told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour at the CITIZEN by CNN conference in New York on Thursday.

Hill continued: “Giving me clear information that you have made a change and that you are going to do something to make us all better off around gender discrimination.”

Biden oversaw Thomas’ confirmation hearings, during which Hill testified that Thomas had sexually harassed her. In April, Biden told ABC he believed Hill did not get a fair hearing and was not treated well, and said he took responsibility.

In his bid for president and through the lens of the #MeToo movement, Biden is under renewed scrutiny for the controversial episode from his lengthy Senate career.

The Biden campaign declined to comment on Hill’s Thursday statement.

Earlier this year, Biden had a conversation with Hill in which he shared “his regret for what she endured” during the 1991 hearings, according to his campaign. Hill, in an interview with The New York Times, declined to call the conversation an apology and said she thinks Biden fails to grasp the damage he did to her and other victims of sexual harassment.

Hill also addressed the allegation of sexual and physical assault against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and said officials “didn’t go far enough” in handling the matter.

Hill said the “structure was hostile” when professor Christine Blasey Ford appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify about her allegation of sexual assault against Kavanaugh.

“Even though the tone of the questions, in some sense, might have been different, the structure was hostile,” Hill said, drawing comparisons to when she herself appeared before the same committee in 1991.

Hill said there was a limit to the number of witnesses called on by investigators, and said there were “limits to what they would do to really find out if in fact this nominee was the best person to sit on the US Supreme Court, in a lifetime appointment.”

Hill said she was disappointed by the outcome of the Kavanaugh hearings, but said she sees it as an opportunity “for us to realize now how much work there is to be done.” She called gender-based violence an urgent “public health crisis” and a “public safety crisis.”

Hill called on the media to ask presidential candidates how they will respond to and address the #MeToo movement, and said she is not satisfied with “the way the media has treated this issue.”

CNN