Even affirmative action has its limits

Anita Hill provides this modest assessment as to why she might not make an ideal Supreme Court nominee.

ESSENCE: After Justice David Souter announced he was retiring, Vanity Fair and others raised the suggestion that President Obama should nominate you [Anita Hill] for the Supreme Court. What did you think of that idea?

Hill: I actually responded to the Vanity Fair piece. I think there are any number of people, including Sonia Sotomayor, who will be excellent choices. This is a president who has come in and really tried to promote healing between various factions. Nowhere is that more needed than in terms of how we have approached Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

In those hearings, there needs to be a certain level of honesty, but there also needs to be civility and really sticking with the questions that matter about the nominee.

I don’t think that there is much chance that that would happen if I were nominated, because of things that people would want to get into, that wouldn’t be helpful to the process.

It’s flattering anytime anyone suggests that, and I’ve been asked more than once. But, in addition to that being kind of an awkward workplace situation (laughs), I think the hearing process would really devolve into the kind of politics that would not be good for the court.

JOHN adds: This reminds me that Anita Hill’s attack on Clarence Thomas was the occasion for Arlen Specter’s finest hour as a Republican. It seemed as though he was traumatized by the experience and never rose to the same height again.

PAUL adds: Specter may have been inspired by the fact that he was up for re-election the following year and did not want to risk alienating his (then) party. Robert Bork was not so lucky. Specter had recently been re-elected when Judge Bork was nominated for the Supreme Court.


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