Sen. Grassley sets deadline for Kavanaugh accuser

Will controversy surrounding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh drive women to the polls during the November elections? CNN's John Berman has more.

Posted: Sep 20, 2018 11:42 PM
Updated: Sep 20, 2018 11:56 PM

A Supreme Court nominee with an abysmal record on protecting women's and civil rights stands poised to be confirmed by the Senate. Women's and civil society organizations have loudly declared that his confirmation would be detrimental to working people and the economically vulnerable. His record on a woman's right to abortion and on agency over our bodies threatens to gut Roe v. Wade and eradicate women's reproductive rights.

Just before the vote, a female professor bravely comes out publicly with damning allegations that the nominee sexually harassed and intimidated her (allegations which the nominee vehemently denies).

Sound familiar? I am not talking about Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, but about then-Judge Clarence Thomas, who was a nominee to our nation's highest court in 1991.

The woman, we all know, was Anita Hill. And I was there as her story unfolded. Twenty-seven years ago, on Yom Kippur eve, I testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in my role as President of the Women's Legal Defense Fund, which became the National Partnership for Women & Families. I was joined by wonderful colleagues, including Professor Patricia King of Georgetown University and Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women's Law Center.

At the time I testified that Judge Clarence Thomas appeared to lack a demonstrated commitment to equal justice. I stated that his record cast grave doubt on his commitment to affirm and support fundamental principles of equal employment opportunity, the constitutional protections against gender discrimination and reproductive freedom. His record had shown an extensive pattern of disregard of principles of fundamental importance to women and their families.

Of course, the parallels between then and now are unmistakable.

Shortly after my testimony, Hill's story was leaked to the press, and she was asked to testify before the Senate. What happened next continues to be one of the most disgraceful episodes in our country's modern history.

Hill came before the Senate and was greeted by an all-male panel, led by Republicans who sought to prosecute her, while Democrats, at best, remained neutral fact-finders. This phony trial resulted in a gross imbalance of power and meant that no one defended Hill and no one prosecuted Thomas. What was on trial was not the fitness of Thomas to be the next Supreme Court justice but instead Hill's moral character and reputation as a woman.

Immediately after the hearing, it was branded as a "he said, she said" moment -- with much of the country undecided. But this would not remain so.

Steadily brewing was the angst, anger and ire of women across the country who slowly began to talk with their coworkers, families, spouses and each other. This was the 1991 version of "Me Too." Women all over the country shared stories realizing that they, too, had been survivors of similar harassment and even worse -- assault and violence.

This brewing anger would lead to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and what we now know as the "Year of the Woman."

This sentiment led to women across the country turning out to disrupt the misuse of male political power that had marked the Thomas-Hill hearing. For the first time, we witnessed four women being elected to the Senate in the same year, resulting in a paradigm shift.

Today, another woman has been forced to come forward with allegations against a Supreme Court nominee, allegations which the nominee strongly denies. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is courageously speaking out about an extremely traumatic sexual incident. Her accusations are credible and she has corroboration that long pre-dates Kavanaugh's nomination to a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, including reports from a therapist in 2012 and a polygraph test this past summer.

I believe Ford and stand with women all across this country in demanding that the Senate hold a full and fair investigation.

That means ensuring that Ford's allegations are investigated by experts who have experience in handling the trauma of sexual assault and violence. That also means ensuring that, unlike Hill, we don't insist on putting Ford on trial for being a survivor of sexual assault. And that means ensuring that critics who obfuscate and dismiss Ford's charges as outdated antics of his youth do not prevail.

In the era of #MeToo, we have torn down the curtain on male abuse of power and toppled the notion that some people are too big to fail. While the stories of courageous women have been inspiring, we are still grappling with how to create systemic change. The court of public opinion has led in this fight. Now it is time for democracy and government to meet the will of the people.

A fair investigation gives us an opportunity to show women across the country that if they dare to speak out, they are not alone and will be backed by our nation's institutions. While we failed Anita Hill, we have an opportunity to do better by Christine Blasey Ford. I am hopeful that this time we will get it right.

We must do better. And we will not go back to 1991. Women are watching.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 845108

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161242006
Mobile741961379
Madison53291732
Shelby38328368
Baldwin38074589
Tuscaloosa36017641
Montgomery34483781
Lee25557263
Calhoun22585518
Morgan22454406
Etowah20016517
Marshall18781316
Houston17729425
St. Clair16880358
Limestone16138218
Cullman16050303
Elmore15904294
Lauderdale14984306
Talladega14191299
DeKalb12971269
Walker12029380
Blount10715192
Autauga10517157
Jackson10161194
Coffee9415192
Colbert9341208
Dale9018191
Tallapoosa7255201
Russell707865
Chilton7018170
Escambia6955143
Covington6933195
Franklin6342108
Chambers5784142
Marion5403130
Dallas5285209
Pike5118109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4780110
Geneva4642136
Bibb434094
Barbour369480
Butler3434100
Marengo342393
Monroe337066
Randolph334367
Pickens333188
Fayette330085
Henry320666
Hale318389
Cherokee317763
Crenshaw260477
Washington257052
Cleburne254460
Lamar251453
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192862
Coosa185047
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152645
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
Out of AL00
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Tupelo
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Columbus
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Oxford
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High pressure will continue to control our weather forecast for the next several days. This will keep our area filled with plenty of sunshine. We will see both daytime highs and overnight lows gradually get milder and warmer.
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