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Published by: Harvard Kennedy School
Published in: 1992

Abstract

This ethics case, based on the celebrated events of the Anita Hill charges against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas and their role in his confirmation hearing, focuses on the decision faced by members and staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee as to whether to make the Hill charges public. Based both on a wide range of published sources and interviews with Judiciary staff members, the case focuses on the events of those days, in the fall of 1991, after Thomas'' nomination had been advanced to the Senate floor by a tie vote of the Judiciary Committee, and before Hill''s dramatic account of sexual harassment was made public. The case allows for discussion of the factors which might influence someone privy to the Hill account, and hostile to Thomas, to leak, or not to leak, the Hill story. Among those factors: the Judiciary Committee''s rules; the significance of the Thomas nomination; the desire and expectations of Hill herself.

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Abstract

This ethics case, based on the celebrated events of the Anita Hill charges against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas and their role in his confirmation hearing, focuses on the decision faced by members and staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee as to whether to make the Hill charges public. Based both on a wide range of published sources and interviews with Judiciary staff members, the case focuses on the events of those days, in the fall of 1991, after Thomas'' nomination had been advanced to the Senate floor by a tie vote of the Judiciary Committee, and before Hill''s dramatic account of sexual harassment was made public. The case allows for discussion of the factors which might influence someone privy to the Hill account, and hostile to Thomas, to leak, or not to leak, the Hill story. Among those factors: the Judiciary Committee''s rules; the significance of the Thomas nomination; the desire and expectations of Hill herself.

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