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A Perjurer on the US Supreme Court

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From Consortium News

On Friday, former federal prosecutor Lillian McEwen, one of Thomas's girlfriends in the 1980s, broke a long silence and confirmed that Thomas did engage in sexual harassment of women at work and did discuss pornography in the way that Anita Hill and other women described to the Senate during Thomas's confirmation hearings in 1991.

During those hearings, Thomas angrily denied the allegations, calling them "a high-tech lynching." Simultaneously, his right-wing allies mounted an aggressive campaign to destroy the credibility of Hill and other accusers.

The tactics worked. Thomas narrowly won Senate confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, where he has remained a reliable vote for every right-wing position that the justices consider.

However, it is now obvious that Thomas committed perjury as a necessary element of gaining his seat as one of nine justices on the Supreme Court and only its second African-American. Though perjury before Congress is a felony, the Right appears to have suddenly lost its enthusiasm for demanding impeachment as the proper remedy for high officials caught lying under oath.

The new evidence of Thomas's perjury emerged this past week following a bizarre voice-mail message that Thomas's wife, Virginia, left for Anita Hill asking her to retract her testimony and to apologize to Justice Thomas. Hill, now a professor at Brandeis University, rejected the request and reiterated that she was telling the truth 19 years ago.

But Mrs. Thomas's voice mail had an unexpected consequence. It spurred McEwen, now 63, to speak up in an interview with the Washington Post, which appeared in Friday's editions.

Thomas "was always actively watching the women he worked with to see if they could be potential partners," McEwen told the Post. "It was a hobby of his."

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That was a key point that Hill had raised in her televised testimony in 1991, that Thomas treated women especially black women as if they were prey for his sexual stalking.

Hill said Thomas had repeatedly and inappropriately pressed her for dates, including making lewd comments about pornography and once suggesting that he had detected a pubic hair on a Coke can.

"He spoke about acts that he had seen in pornographic films involving such matters as women having sex with animals and films showing group sex or rape scenes," Hill testified. "On several occasions, Thomas told me graphically of his own sexual prowess."

Denying All

Thomas denied everything and cast aspersions on Hill's credibility.

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"If I used that kind of grotesque language with one person, it would seem to me that there would be traces of it throughout the employees who worked closely with me, or the other individuals who heard bits and pieces of it or various levels of it," Thomas told the Senate Judiciary Committee in sworn testimony.

But McEwen told the Post that during their relationship over several years in the 1980s while they worked together at two federal agencies Thomas made sexual remarks in the work place, including comments about hard-core pornographic movies that he had watched.

"He was obsessed with porn," McEwen said. "He would talk about what he had seen in magazines and films, if there was something worth noting."

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Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at It's also available at

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Wow, what a profound piece of work. My fear though... by Walter Barton on Sunday, Oct 24, 2010 at 11:12:26 AM
Those are decidedly NOT "conservative" minds. The ... by Techknowledgie on Sunday, Oct 24, 2010 at 3:02:15 PM
Your nuance is noted but it is all so difficult to... by Walter Barton on Sunday, Oct 24, 2010 at 5:17:56 PM
Don't forget the confusing term "neoliberal".http:... by John Kessler on Sunday, Oct 24, 2010 at 9:31:38 PM
While the various "conservatives" may play up thei... by Jack Flanders on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 5:46:42 AM
Jack, your point about congressional conservatives... by Roberto Benitez on Saturday, Nov 6, 2010 at 4:40:45 AM
Walter, you make a good point, there're many diffe... by Roberto Benitez on Saturday, Nov 6, 2010 at 4:08:37 AM
An explanation that helps one understand a piece o... by Walter Barton on Saturday, Nov 6, 2010 at 1:59:34 PM
Is this some leftist agenda? Think about it. If th... by stevor on Sunday, Oct 24, 2010 at 12:12:11 PM
Wouldn't we All want to rid SCOTUS of a perjuror? ... by TomMikesell on Sunday, Oct 24, 2010 at 12:31:42 PM
Leading us into a "New World Order" instead of Neo... by BFalcon on Sunday, Oct 24, 2010 at 12:53:54 PM
My guess is Obama will do no such thing, which wil... by Maxwell on Sunday, Oct 24, 2010 at 3:03:46 PM
Do you really believe Obama could appoint two stro... by John Kessler on Sunday, Oct 24, 2010 at 9:53:56 PM
I don't know how old you are,but had you followe... by GUY P. FRASER on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 4:22:13 AM
to wonder if being a gross hypocrite is a requirem... by Archie on Sunday, Oct 24, 2010 at 12:24:55 PM
that Congressman Peter DeFazio is involved in prep... by John Sanchez Jr. on Sunday, Oct 24, 2010 at 4:01:22 PM
Impeachment is reserved only for use by conservati... by John Kessler on Sunday, Oct 24, 2010 at 9:21:38 PM
How often since Bush II literally took office ha... by Ian MacLeod on Sunday, Oct 24, 2010 at 11:47:10 PM
Impeachment is not inherently partisan. Of course ... by Jack Flanders on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 6:10:24 AM
It won't happen, any more than Rummie, Dubya, Dart... by Ian MacLeod on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 2:01:37 PM
Of all the women Thomas has victimized, his wives ... by Carol Davidek-Waller on Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010 at 6:09:55 PM
Robert, if progressives want to impeach Thomas and... by Roberto Benitez on Saturday, Nov 6, 2010 at 5:18:26 AM