Wife Of Clarence Thomas Asks Anita Hill To Apologize


NPR: In a truth-is-stranger-than-fiction twist, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas earlier this month left a voicemail message for Anita Hill, asking Hill to apologize for her 1991 testimony accusing then Supreme Court nominee Thomas of sexual harassment. Virginia Thomas has confirmed through a spokesman that on Saturday, Oct. 9, she left a voicemail message at Hill’s Brandeis University office. News organizations, including <em>The New York Times</em> and ABC, have reported that they heard the recording, which said: “Good Morning, Anita Hill. Its Ginni Thomas. I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why https://i0.wp.com/farm2.static.flickr.com/1367/5098610033_08b3ff7861_m.jpg?w=790you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought and certainly pray on this and hope that one day you will help us understand why you did what you did. OK, have a good day.” MORE

NEW YORK TIMES: In a statement conveyed through a publicist, Ms. Thomas confirmed leaving the message, which she portrayed as a peacemaking gesture. She did not explain its timing. “I did place a call to Ms. Hill at her office extending an olive branch to her after all these years, in hopes that we could ultimately get past what happened so long ago,” she said. “That offer still stands. I would be very happy to meet and talk with her if she would be willing to do the same. Certainly no offense was ever intended.” In response to Ms. Thomas’s statement, Ms. Hill said that she had testified truthfully about her experiences with the future Justice Thomas and that she had nothing to apologize for. “I appreciate that no offense was intended, but she can’t ask for an apology without suggesting that I did something wrong, and that is offensive,” Ms. Hill said. MORE

RELATED: For three decades, Mrs. Thomas has been a familiar figure among conservative activists in Washington — since before she met her husband of 23 years, Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court. But this year she has emerged in her most politically prominent role yet: Mrs. Thomas is the founder and head of a new nonprofit group, Liberty Central, dedicated to opposing what she characterizes as the leftist “tyranny” of President Obama and Democrats in Congress and to “protecting the core founding principles” of the nation. It is the most partisan role ever for a spouse of a justice on the nation’s highest court, and Mrs. Thomas is just getting started. “Liberty Central will be bigger than the Tea Party movement,” she told Fox News in April, at a Tea Party rally in Atlanta. But to some people who study judicial ethics, Mrs. Thomas’s activism is raising knotty questions, in particular about her acceptance of large, unidentified contributions for Liberty Central. She began the group in late 2009 with two https://i0.wp.com/farm2.static.flickr.com/1367/5098610033_08b3ff7861_m.jpg?w=790gifts of $500,000 and $50,000, and because it is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit group, named for the applicable section of the federal tax code, she does not have to publicly disclose any contributors. MORE

RELATED: A federal law requires justices to recuse themselves in a number of circumstances where real or perceived conflicts of interest could arise, including in cases where their spouses could have a financial interest. But the decision to step aside is up to each justice; there is no appeal from the nation’s highest court. “It’s shocking that you would have a Supreme Court justice sitting on a case that might implicate in a very fundamental way the interests of someone who might have contributed to his wife’s organization,” said Deborah L. Rhode, a law professor and director of the Stanford University Center on the Legal Profession. […] Mrs. Thomas’s political work has drawn criticism before from Democrats. In the weeks before a 5-to-4 majority of the Supreme Court, including her husband, decided the 2000 election for George W. Bush over Al Gore, Mrs. Thomas was compiling résumés for potential appointees to a Bush administration from her job at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative, Republican-leaning research group. MORE

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