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Harris v. Forklift

Justice Clarence Thomas

Clarence Thomas was confirmed as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court on 15 October 1991. President George Bush nominated him, and the subsequent confirmation hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee were highly volatile. His appointment was very controversial, and became more so after Professor Anita Hill charged Thomas with sexual harassment and testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Hill, a law professor at the University of Oklahoma, testified that Thomas had made sexual advances toward her while they were both employed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). She alleged that after rejecting his social invitations, Thomas began to discuss sexually explicit topics with her, while they worked together. He also continued to ask Hill to accompany him on social occasions. Hill continued to reject his invitations until her employment with the EEOC was about to end in 1983. In a dinner conversation that is recorded in Hill's testimony before the Senate, Thomas told her that, "If I [Hill] ever told anyone of his [Thomas's] behavior . . . it would ruin his career."

Clarence Thomas's confirmation was approved despite Hill's allegations of sexual harassment.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1989 to 1994Harris v. Forklift - Significance, Harris Files A Lawsuit, Discrimination By Any Other Name, Justice Clarence Thomas, Further Readings