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Clarence Thomas confirmation revisited amid SCOTUS nominee controversy

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — the recent allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh evokes the confirmation controversy of Justice Clarence Thomas in the ‘90s.

Monday will almost feel like déjà vu for some on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Nearly three decades ago, a complaint of sexual misconduct derailed the confirmation of Thomas.

During a hearing, Anita Hill claimed Thomas harassed her while he was her supervisor.

27 years later, Thomas is still on the court and new nominee is now in his shoes.

“It certainly is much more emotionally charged this year and, of course, the issue here in the Kavanaugh situation is sexual assault and not sexual harassment,” said Tom Spencer, IUSB history professor.

Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee agreed to delay the confirmation of Kavanuagh amid those allegations.

It set a hearing in one week so his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, could testify before the Senate.

But her attorney is calling for an FBI investigation first.

Hill agreed, a preemptive investigation is necessary.

“The hearing questions need to have a frame and the investigation is the best frame for that,’ said Hill during an interview on Good Morning America on Wednesday.

Following the hearing, Thomas narrowly secured a seat on the bench with a 52-38 vote.

“In that close of a case, it could’ve gone either way,” said Tim Willig, IUSB history department chair.

Could this latest case spell trouble for Kavanaugh?

“Since it is such a close race, it could just simply be a few votes or at least, maybe if they could delay the hearings or the confirmation long enough, then the Senate composition could change in favor of the opposition to Kavanaugh,” said Willig.

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