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At Anita Hill Hearings, Starkly Different Roles For Two New England Senators

While Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, at left, was front-and-center during the 1991 hearings investigating Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, Massachusetts Senator from Ted Kennedy kept mostly quiet. Photo via screenshots from C-Span

While Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, at left, was front-and-center during the 1991 hearings investigating Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, Massachusetts Senator from Ted Kennedy kept mostly quiet. Photo via screenshots from C-Span

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear this week from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, over sexual assault allegations.

There are two senators from New England on the panel: Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Vermont’s Patrick Leahy, both Democrats.

Leahy was also one of two senators from the region on the committee in 1991, when a similar set of hearings took place around the nomination of Justice Clarence Thomas.

And Leahy was one of the lead questioners of Thomas and his accuser, Anita Hill.

A former prosecutor, Leahy was charged with asking Hill about some of the more sensitive allegations.

“You said that [Thomas] described pornographic movies to you,” Leahy asked. “Is that correct?”

“Yes,” Hill replied.

“And – explicitly described them?” Leahy pressed.

“Yes.”

Visit NEPR for the full story.