President Donald Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, announced just eight days after the Sept. 18th death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, is “a rush,” according to prominent law professor and anti-discrimination advocate Anita Hill.
“And I think it’s a rush that does a disservice, not only to the Court, but to the people who will come before the Court,” Hill told Variety the day before Trump’s official nomination of the conservative and pro-life Amy Coney Barrett. The White House announced the President’s intention to nominate Barrett the day before her official nomination took place on Saturday, September 26.
Hill’s name became a national symbol for women’s empowerment in 1991 when she accused then Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, a Black conservative, of sexual harassment. Thomas won the appointment regardless, but the public adopted Hill as it’s hero.
Hill told Variety that she thought the Barrett nomination amounted to a disservice to the country. The public has monitored the Supreme Court because justices serve for a lifetime. Barrett, at age 48, if confirmed has the potential to stay on the Supreme Court for the next 30 to 40 years.
Ginsberg, who died at age 87, never retired even as she battled cancer for years.
“I don’t really want to get into politics, except to say that a confirmation process should be clear and thoughtful and thorough,” Hill said in the interview. “It should inform not only the Senate that’s voting, but it also should inform the public about what kind of person is going to be sitting in a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest Court. I absolutely am not convinced that can happen in the middle of an election, as well as in the middle of a pandemic and so many other things that are going on in this country now that need to be addressed.”
Hill also hailed Ginsburg’s legacy and said the world must continue the work of the late justice.
“In terms of her legal practice and time on the Court, she defined gender equality in a way that no one else has,” Hill told Variety. “She was very outspoken about the need to really align the real-lived experiences of women with the law. I think that is a tremendous contribution. Other people will define her contributions differently, but for me, her work that aligned real life with the law is what I think was so special about her life, and that is the legacy that we have to continue to build on.”
In announcing the president’s intention to nominate Barrett, the White House in a statement hailed her for her “keen intellect, piercing legal analysis, and generous spirit.”
Photo by Marla Aufmuth/Getty Images for Texas Conference for Women