With heightened attention on curbing sexual assault and harassment in the workplace, some are calling for a re-examination of a member of the nation’s highest court.
On Feb. 18, New York Magazine published a piece by Jill Abramson titled “Do You Believe Her Now?,” in which she revisits allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and reports on new allegations that corroborate claims made by his former colleague Anita Hill in 1991 at his high-profile confirmation hearing.
In her piece, Abramson, a former editor at the New York Times, reports on another encounter between Thomas and a woman, Moira Smith, who alleges he groped her. The incident, as described by Smith, happened after Thomas was confirmed to the nation’s highest court.
“I thought the Smith case is so important because it involves his behavior since he’s been on the court, but I found additional evidence that was not brought before the public or to the Judiciary Committee back in 1991 showing overwhelmingly that Clarence Thomas lied,” Abramson, former New York Times executive editor and now-senior lecturer at Harvard, told Jim Braude Wednesday on Greater Boston.
During the hearing, Hill had described to the all-male panel of lawmakers how Thomas had repeatedly talked about sex at work and talked with her about watching pornographic movies. Thomas denied these claims, but Abramson told Braude she came across evidence in her research that supports Hill’s allegations.
“There were many people who knew at the time of the hearings that he was a habitual pornography user,” she said, and “that they were the very character that we remember Anita Hill testifying about.”
Abramson’s piece comes amid the #MeToo movement, which has led to women sharing their personal stories of workplace harassment and sexual assault, and the fall of powerful men across the country, from Hollywood to Washington.
But Abramson said, despite the additional spotlight on the allegations against Thomas, she doesn’t believe the justice is going anywhere. “I’m a political realist,” she said.
“I mean, Clarence Thomas vowed at the point he was confirmed – he was 43-years-old - that he would serve on the court for at least 43 years, so, I don’t actually think he will resign, but I think there should be some accountability,” she said.
To watch the full interview with Jill Abramson, click the video player above.