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The Supremes’ Greatest Hits: From Anita Hill to Ketanji Brown Jackson

By Steve Slavin. Originally published at ValueWalk.

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We’ve come a long way from the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to those held last month for Ketanji Brown Jackson. As fate would have it, the sole Supreme Court Justice still serving since 1990 is Thomas, who had been accused by his long-time assistant, Anita Hill, of serial sexual harassment.


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The Supreme Court’s Greatest Hits

The Republicans on the committee questioned Hill as if she were just another overly ambitious slut who had turned on her benefactor, while the committee’s Democratic Chairman, Joe Biden, just stood by, allowing Hill to be subjected to this inquisition. Then Thomas, exhibiting the epitome of chutzpah declared himself the victim of an electronic lynching.

Although Black American women have certainly come a long way over the last three decades, they still have perhaps an even longer way to go, just to be treated equally with Black men, let alone the white folk. Just consider, if you will, the treatment Judge Jackson received at the hands of the good ole Southern Republican white boys – Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, and Josh Hawley.

None of the last three Supreme Court nominees – each of whom got unanimous support from the Republican majorities on the Senate Judiciary Committee – not to mention the rest of the party’s senators — were subject to such abusive questioning. These three individuals – two men and a woman – were rightwing Republicans with judicial records no more impressive than that of Judge Jackson.

But when Jackson is confirmed by the Senate in a few weeks, she will receive the votes of every Democratic senator, but not more than two Republican votes. So where did this very well-educated, articulate, personable, and highly qualified woman go wrong? Could it be that she had the temerity to aspire to go where no other Black woman had ever gone before?

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