On the cover of New York Magazine’s February 19–March 5, 2018, issue, Jill Abramson writes about Clarence Thomas and whether it’s time to reconsider whether the Supreme Court justice belongs on the bench, given new evidence that he lied to get there.
New York editor Noreen Malone says the idea to run this story originated after listening to a discussion of the #MeToo movement and the history of the Anita Hill hearings between Rebecca Traister and Jane Mayer on “Fresh Air” last fall. Mayer — who, along with Jill Abramson, published Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas, the definitive investigation of that hearing and the claims against Thomas — mentioned that there had been other women whose corroborative testimony had been suppressed at the time. During the segment, both Traister and Mayer called for a reopening of the case.
Though Malone knew certain details of the case, she was stunned to hear the full context and weight of the campaign to smear Hill. “Even more stunning to me was Mayer’s revelation that a woman had come forward in 2016 to say that Clarence Thomas had groped her, while he was a sitting Supreme Court justice,” says Malone.
“Strange Justice is a pretty amazing feat of reporting, and Jill Abramson was able to build on it with her new reporting to marshal a highly convincing, carefully argued case: that Clarence Thomas had not only sexually harassed Anita Hill and other women who worked for him, but that he had lied about it under oath,” says Malone. “I hope people do a serious reevaluation of Thomas’s place on the bench as a result.”