Anita Hill called on the federal government to implement a "fair and neutral" way to investigate sexual misconduct complaints after allegations surfaced against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh this week.
Hill, who accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of workplace sexual harassment during his confirmation hearing back in 1991, said she has seen "firsthand what happens when such a process is weaponized against an accuser and no one should have to endure that again."
Crime, law enforcement and corrections
Crimes against persons
Government and public administration
Government organizations - US
Political Figures - US
Sex and gender issues
Then a law professor at the University of Oklahoma, Hill testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that she had been sexually harassed by Thomas when she worked with him at the Education Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Thomas denied the allegations and he was confirmed to the bench.
A woman is accusing Kavanaugh of assaulting her when they were high schoolers in the early 1980s, and she relayed the claim in a letter to Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who received the note in July and referred it to the FBI on Wednesday.
Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegation, saying in a statement: "I did not do this back in high school or at any time."
However, Hill wants senators to put a process into place that will allow the accusation to be treated seriously.
"Given the seriousness of these allegations, the government needs to find a fair and neutral way for complaints to be investigated," Hill, now a professor at Brandeis University, said in a statement Friday. "The Senate Judiciary Committee should put in place a process that enables anyone with a complaint of this nature to be heard."
The woman accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct has not come forward publicly.
Hill said Friday, "The reluctance of someone to come forward demonstrates that even in the #MeToo era, it remains incredibly difficult to report harassment, abuse or assault by people in power."
The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Kavanaugh's nomination next Thursday, with the full Republican-led Senate looking to consider it later this month.