Page 4 - Briefcase Volume 37 Number 2
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         NOTED                           ANITA HILL SAYS SOCIETY MUST SUPPORT #METOO

                                         MOVEMENT DURING ‘FIRESIDE CHAT’ AT UH LAW


          University of Houston Law Center Professor Michael A. Olivas, left, speaks with Anita Hill of Brandeis University in Krost Hall.

        Professor and civil rights activist Anita Hill said at the University of   Parallels were drawn between Thomas’ hearing and the polarized
        Houston Law Center that the public has a responsibility to embrace the   confirmation process of U.S. Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett
        #MeToo movement, and must confront sexual misconduct wherever it   Kavanaugh in 2018.
        exists in society.                                         After Kavanaugh’s nomination, Palo Alto University Professor of
        “We have to believe the harm of this abuse is real,” Hill said. “There are   Psychology Dr. Christine Blasey Ford brought forth an allegation that
        no bystanders. Use what power you have to change policy or you have   Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her at a house party when the two
        become complicit. We need to understand that these are not personnel   were in high school.
        matters because everyone has a stake in change.”           Hill said there should have been less of a focus on Blasey Ford’s
        Hill participated in a “fireside chat” with Law Center Professor Michael   demeanor during her testimony and more on Kavanaugh’s
        A. Olivas as part of the Spring 2019 Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Series.   qualifications.
        Olivas is the William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law and director   “In theory, a confirmation hearing is about the character and fitness
        of the Institute for Higher Education Law & Governance.    of an individual to serve on the highest court in the country,” Hill said.
        Hill is professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women’s, Gender and   “If we all ask ourselves based on his performance whether he met the
        Sexuality Studies at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management   minimal standards of character, fitness or decision-making on the
        at Brandeis University.                                    highest court in the land, I would honestly say absolutely not.”
        She said nearly every industry in the country should create commissions   Hill also remarked on the potential presidential candidacy of former
        with policymaking power and develop codes of conduct and other   vice president Joe Biden, who was the chairman of the Senate Judiciary
        protocols to combat sexual assault and harassment in the workplace.  Committee at the time of Hill’s testimony.
        “This issue is housed in the entertainment industry, but there are lessons   “I’m well aware that a lot of people think that he mishandled the
        to be learned all over,” she said. “Especially when the core of the issue is   hearings in 1991,” Hill said. “He’s going to have to respond to those
        the abuse of power.“                                       criticisms, and show how he’s changed and that he can be trusted to
        Hill was thrust into the national spotlight in 1991 during the televised   protect victims and survivors. We should be asking these questions of all
        confirmation hearing for now-U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence   of our candidates. When you look at the numbers — one in five women
        Thomas. She testified of repeated sexual harassment while he was her   in colleges will experience sexual assault — this is a public crisis.”
        supervisor at the Department of Education and the EEOC.

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