The Madeleine Brand Show for October 20, 2010

Anita Hill responds to Clarence Thomas' wife

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US law professor Anita Hill takes oath, 12 October 1991, before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington D.C.. Hill filed sexual harassment charges against US Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.

Anita Hill received a strange phone call recently. It was Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's wife, Virginia, on Hill's voice-mail. Virginia Thomas reportedly asked Hill to consider apologizing and to explain why she “did what she did with her husband”.

20 years ago Hill testified at Clarence Thomas's confirmation hearings that he had sexually harassed her. Thomas denied the accusation, calling it a high tech lynching. Why would Virginia Thomas call Anita Hill all these years later?

Dahlia Lithwick, Slate’s Legal Editor talks to Madeleine about Virginia Thomas’ political activities and the challenges it poses to her husband’s career on the Supreme Court.

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