Female Democrats fundraising off Christine Blasey Ford, Anita Hill

Anita Hill, who in 1991 accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his confirmation hearing, is calling for a "fair and neutral" way for the government to investigate sexual misconduct complaints. Eleanor Holmes Norton sees a version of history repeating itself.

"My belief is that, without an investigation, there can not be an effective hearing", Hill told Judy Woodruff of "PBS NewsHour".

That senator was Chuck Grassley, who is no longer just a member of the Judiciary committee, he's the chairman. Did they not take Ms. Ford's allegations seriously, or were they sitting on this information until releasing it could do the most political damage? Joe Biden (D-Del.), humiliated Hill when she came forward with sexual harassment claims against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.

"He owes all of us an apology", she said.

She says she doesn't remember Brett Kavanaugh as anyone who partied to what she would call an extreme.

"I have never done anything like what the accuser describes - to her or to anyone". By the time he testified in a second round of hearings, following Hill, he said, "From my standpoint, as a black American, as far as I'm concerned, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas".

After explaining that the Senate can't tell an executive branch agency what to do, Grassley granted that, in Anita Hill's case, the White House "directed the Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct a handful of interviews regarding Professor Hill's allegations" regarding then-nominee Clarence Thomas.

In 1991, Norton was one of seven women in Congress who became so upset with what they saw happening to Hill, that they marched from House side of the Capitol to the Senate to try to meet with the powerful men controlling the confirmation hearings. She also said Senators should rely on those investigative conclusions and expert advice when framing their questions.

And we were able to over the last couple of days reach out to 30 of those women. Republicans now control the committee.

"It's not just about Kavanaugh but more about the midterms", said Rick Hohlt, a Republican lobbyist and veteran strategist, said of the party's concerns.

The initial hope that the conservative Kavanaugh's appointment would encourage turnout by grateful GOP voters this fall has been tempered by new fears that more voters, especially independent women, might head to the polls with fresh anger about Republican handling of sexual impropriety after a new round of public hearings.

"That turned out to be the Year of the Woman ... and we got more women than we had ever had in the Senate", she said.

One of them, Sen.

She says, look, I signed a letter because the allegation that came out seemed so unlikely, I felt compelled to step up and say, this is not the guy that I knew. Feinstein has defended herself, noting that Ford had initially asked to keep the allegations confidential.

No matter what happens next, Norton noted, "The public will be looking very carefully at how this is handled".

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