On Nov. 16, Anita Hill sat down at The Washington Post offices with five current and former Democratic lawmakers: Nita M. Lowey (N.Y.), Barbara A. Mikulski (Md.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.), Pat Schroeder (Colo.) and Louise M. Slaughter (N.Y.) — all allies of Hill during her historic appearance at the confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991. Hill, now a professor of legal history and public policy at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, alleged at the time that Thomas had sexually harassed her when she was in her mid-20s and worked for him at the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The five female lawmakers were part of a larger group of members of Congress who prevailed on their colleagues — including Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Joe Biden (D-Del.) — to allow Hill to testify. Millions of Americans watched on television as the all-white, all-male panel questioned Hill with prosecutorial zeal. Thomas denied the allegations and called the proceedings “a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks.” He was confirmed 52-48.