Nominee blamed for harassment

By Grant Miller

Some NIU instructors said Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas’ confirmation was postponed because of allegations of sexual harassment and women want something to be done about it.

Anita Hill, a former Thomas aide and Oklahoma law professor, claims he asked her on numerous occasions to go out, and after her refusals, he described various sexual acts to her.

The Senate has received great amounts of criticism, especially from women, on their failure not to have noticed this situation earlier.

“The Senate has traditionally been a boy’s club of sorts, and it angers women and men when this boy’s club easily misses a situation like this,” said Richard Digby-Junger, assistant professor of journalism.

“There have been 145 nominees, 27 of which have failed, usually in the fourth year of a president’s term. Sixty percent of those who failed, failed at a time when the president’s party was not the same as the senate,” said Peter Ruckman, NIU assistant professor of political science.

“The reason for the delay was to give Thomas time to clear his name,” said Lettie Wenner, political science department chairman. “I think he will still be confirmed.”

Ruckman said Hill might have intentionally waited until the last minute to announce her accusations. “She has very good timing. She waited until the last second, knowing that it was a situation that would take sometime to clear up,” Ruckman said.

“It’s going to have an impact either way it goes,” Digby-Junger said. “With whatever happens, it will create an impact. We’re dealing with a situation where if someone is elected, they could easily affect the lives of people well into the 21st century.”