Wednesday, August 5, 2015
My Grudge Against Joe Biden
And now, with rumors that Joe Biden is considering a run for president, I thought I would air my grudge against him. Three words: Justice Clarence Thomas.
Biden was the chair of the Senate's Judiciary Committee during Thomas' confirmation hearings in 1991. And he blew it big time. He failed to take Anita Hill's testimony about being sexually harassed by Thomas seriously, and lost control to far more aggressive and more overtly sexist Republicans. In his efforts to be unstintingly fair to Thomas, he repeatedly assured him that "you have the benefit of the doubt," despite the lack of any legal justification for such an assurance. He refused to permit expert testimony on sexual harassment. And, worst of all, he reached a private compromise with Republican senators not to call witnesses who would have corroborated Hill, most importantly, Angela Wright, another former employee of Thomas' at the EEOC who also claimed to have been sexually harassed by him.
Thomas was confirmed by a slim margin, 52–48, with the help of 11 Democrats. Although Biden voted against Thomas, his shameful performance as Judiciary Chair is directly responsible for one of the most reactionary Supreme Court justices in U.S. history.
This is unforgivable.