Speed Reads

'pure joy'

Anita Hill reacts to Jackson's Supreme Court confirmation: 'We should all be celebrating'

Anita Hill is reacting with "pure joy" to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's Supreme Court confirmation after condemning the Senate's "shocking" hearings.

Hill, who testified about her sexual harassment allegations against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991, shared her reaction on CNN to Jackson being confirmed as the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court. 

"Pure joy," Hill said. "And not just joy for her, but also joy for the court and the American justice system. We should all be celebrating on all of those fronts." 

Hill, who is now a professor of social policy, law, and women's studies, celebrated the fact that Jackson will bring a "different perspective" to the Supreme Court, calling her confirmation an "important cultural moment." 

Prior to Thursday's confirmation vote, Hill argued in a Washington Post op-ed that Jackson was mistreated during the Senate's "shameful" confirmation hearings, comparing this to her own treatment by the Senate in 1991. She argued Republicans "repeatedly smeared" Jackson's reputation by "peddling false narratives about her supposed coddling of child pornographers and terrorists," demonstrating "their willingness to employ racist and sexist attacks." 

Hill told CNN the hearings were "shocking" to watch, especially given the Senate confirmed Jackson to another position less than a year earlier, and she expressed disappointment that "we had this opportunity to welcome a highly qualified Black woman" to the Supreme Court and "we couldn't conduct ourselves in a manner that was consistent the importance of that historic moment." 

In 2019, then-candidate Joe Biden expressed regret over the fact that Hill "did not get treated well" when she testified about Thomas, which occurred when Biden was chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "I apologize again because, look, here's the deal. She just did not get treated fair across the board," Biden said. "The system did not work."