Clarence Thomas, Anita Hill, and Pubic Hair on a Can of Coke
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (Getty Images)more pics »The confirmation hearings of Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991 brought about one of the era's most memorable sex scandals -- a scandal that Thomas came through unscathed.
Near the end of Thomas' confirmation process, accusations made by former assistant Anita Hill came to light. Hill claimed that while working for Judge Thomas from 1981-'83, he repeatedly made passes at her and bragged about his awesome sexual abilities, even going so far as to talk about the size of his, uh, gavel.
Hill, who went on to work as a professor of law at Oral Roberts, the University of Oklahoma, and later Brandeis, was the only person to testify against Thomas at his confirmation hearings. Here are some of the reasons, in Hill's words, why Thomas probably shouldn't have been confirmed.
Anita Shoots Down Clarence
I thought that by saying no [to seeing Thomas socially] and explaining my reasons, my employer would abandon his social suggestions. However, to my regret, in the following few weeks, he continued to ask me out on several occasions. He pressed me to justify my reasons for saying no to him. These incidents took place in his office or mine. They were in the form of private conversations which would not have been overheard by anyone else. Clarence Turns Up the Heat
His conversations were very vivid. He spoke about acts that he had seen in pornographic films involving such matters as women having sex with animals and films showing group sex or rape scenes. He talked about pornographic materials depicting inspaniduals with large penises or large breasts involved in various sex acts. On several occasions, Thomas told me graphically of his own sexual prowess.
Pubic Hair on a Can of Coke
One of the oddest episodes I remember was an occasion in which Thomas was drinking a Coke in his office. He got up from the table at which we were working, went over to his desk to get the Coke, looked at the can and asked, "Who has pubic hair on my Coke?" On other occasions, he referred to the size of his own penis as being larger than normal, and he also spoke on some occasions of the pleasures he had given to women with oral sex.
Thomas called the ensuing media frenzy a "circus" and defended his reputation, leading the Judiciary Committee to a 7-7 split vote on whether or not to reccommend Thomas' confirmation. The vote was then sent to the Senate where Thomas was confirmed 52-48, one of the narrowest margins for approval in the history of the court.
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