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On Monday, October the 7th of 1992, many anticipated that the confirmation vote on Clarence Thomas for the position of Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court would go forward, as scheduled, on the following day. That morning, I received a call from another woman law professor. She told me that the press had just reported that Anita Hill, a professor of law at Oklahoma University and a former employee of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, had made accusations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas, for whom she had worked directly when he was the nation's chief official in charge of enforcing anti-discrimination laws. Preliminary responses from the Senate indicated a disinclination to postpone the scheduled vote.
My caller said that we needed to "do something"—and we, like many other people across the country, did. Within ten hours, some 120 women law professors signed a letter directed to each member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. We urged the Senate to postpone the vote, to "take this matter seriously" and to begin full investigation. Early the next day, Tuesday the 8th of October, another letter, from some 170 women and men law professors, also argued for delay. The voices of law professors joined a chorus of other groups and individuals; the image the newspapers gave us was of seven Congresswomen marching up the steps to the ninety-eight men and two women of the Senate and demanding a delay.
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