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June 8, 2009

Anita Hill on her former classmate, Sotomayor

Posted: 12:35 PM ET

Anita Hill will always be linked to the Senate confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court. 

In 1991, her testimony during the confirmation of Clarence Thomas prompted a generation of women to stand up against sexual harassment.

On the cusp of the Senate hearing for Sonia Sotomayor, Hill, today a professor of law at Brandeis University, talked to ESSENCE.com about Sotomayor, a former classmate of hers at Yale Law School, and the legacy of her Senate Judiciary Committee testimony all these years later. The following is an edited version of that interview:

ESSENCE: What do you think of Sonia Sotomayor as a Supreme Court nominee?

Anita Hill: I think it's an excellent choice, just on the face of the selection. Here's a person who has years of experience on the bench, and has distinguished herself in private practice as well, and has been a prosecutor.

I think she's got an incredible breadth of experience. Clearly she's an exceptional mind, having done very well at her undergraduate school, Princeton, and law school at Yale. But that's just the beginning. There are other things that I think make her a great choice. ESSENCE: Georgetown professor knows what's next for Sotomayor

ESSENCE: Things like... being a woman and a person of color?

Hill: Absolutely, that's part of it. But I think she's a great choice not simply because she's a Latina. She has acknowledged that as part of her identity, in a way that I think is very responsible and wise.

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Filed under: Justice • Supreme Court


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Brian Varvel   June 8th, 2009 7:15 pm ET

'Larry My son,you were indeed told 'Not to man who rights you yet the One who rights through him,because he who is righting you is just a tool to be used for My Glory' therefore simply grow in Me and continnue to follow your 'King'.with much love your 'King' Jesus,even The Christ,Amen.'


Truth Detector   June 8th, 2009 7:30 pm ET

Remember...this is coming from a women who lied about another well respected man. Her advice is worthless.


Brian Varvel   June 8th, 2009 7:51 pm ET

'Larry My son,you were indeed told 'Not to seek the man you,yet the One Who rights through him,because he who is righting is just a tool to be used for My Glory';therefore simply grow in Me and continnue to follow your 'King'.With much love your 'King' Jesus,even The Christ,Amen.'


Dodie - California   June 8th, 2009 8:06 pm ET

I agree with Anita Hill. I think Sonia Sotomayor is excellent for the Supreme Court. She certainly has the credentials. Again, certain people continue to complain about everything. I did not whine for 8 years while the Bush administration was confiscating all our taxpayer’s money and ultimately bankrupting the USA!!! So, Stop whining!


Dave of Detroit   June 8th, 2009 10:20 pm ET

I admire Judge Sotomayer, she is hard-working, capable, and I pray for her speedy recovery from her broken ankle but I do not think she should be nominated to the Supreme Court to replace Justice Souter even though she is a liberal replacing a liberal. I think Justice Souter was more of a free thinker than conservative or liberal and his one outstanding ability was a total devotion to the law.
Judge Sotomayer has been called a reverse racist by both Rush and Newt although Newt is caving on the subject and Rush has a tendency to oversensationalize for effect-lot of that going on in the media these days-but the point that was made is that she is a supporter of Hispanic Rights and belongs to an organization that gives special treatment to a minority group. The fact that both parties are vying for the 13 to 20 million Hispanics that they expect to become citizens and add to an already large voting block is the relevant factor!
There is going to be Supreme Court Cases as a result of President Obama's upcoming Amnesty Legislation and incidentally, I am not for Amnesty across the board but wouldn't mind for people that have proven to be hard working and reliable citizens becoming citizens and that is my problem-Could she fairly judge a case or would she have to withdraw due to her own personal background and would she? The fact that there is no way to answer this question leaves a very open doubt as to her candidacy!


Dave of Detroit   June 8th, 2009 10:36 pm ET

Brian-Are you okay?


Terry, TX   June 9th, 2009 2:48 pm ET

Enough already with the term Hispanic and Latina.....she is an American citizen (I hope) of Puerto Rican descent. She is a racist....as an American citizen of Mexican descent....I know plenty of them that can't stand white people. I know plenty of Blacks who can't stand anyone south of the border and white people.

Why is it so hard to believe....a woman in her own words....is a racist. We wouldn't have taken that statement from anybody else. Why are minorities who are republicans targets and slandered......but if you are a minority who is a democrat.....they are untouchable and if you criticize You are the racist.? She's needs to be rejected.....Next.


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