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:: A constitutional law blog by Scalia/Thomas fan David M. Wagner, M.A., J.D., Research Fellow, National Legal Foundation, and Teacher, Veritas Preparatory Academy. Opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not reflect those of the NLF or Veritas. :: bloghome | E-mail me ::


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    [::..archive..::]
    ::

    :: Thursday, November 20, 2008 ::
    It appears that AZ Gov. Janet Napolitano, attorney to Anita Hill during the Thomas confirmation outrage, is going to be the one watching our movements as Security as Homeland Security. Any statements of concern, anyone? Sen. Hatch? Sen. Specter? Former Sen. Danforth? Anybody home?

    MORE INFO: Newsmax reports:
    Napolitano's representation of Hill became an issue in 1993 when the Senate considered Clinton's nomination of Napolitano for the U.S. attorney's job. Napolitano refused to answer questions about a private conversation with one of Hill's witnesses, Susan Hoerchner. At issue was whether Napolitano persuaded Hoerchner, Hill's corroborating witness, to change her testimony.

    Hoerchner initially told the Senate Judiciary Committee during its Thomas hearings that Hill had told her in the early 1980s that she had been sexually harassed by Thomas. After Napolitano requested and had a private conversation with her, Hoerchner told the committee she wasn't certain of the date Hill told her about the alleged harassment. Napolitano said she couldn't answer questions about the talk because Hoerchner wouldn't waive her right to confidentiality.

    Some Republicans accused Napolitano of stonewalling the committee and contended it could cause a dangerous precedent if the panel confirmed a nominee without having all the information it needed. Democrats defended her, saying Napolitano wanted to be forthcoming but couldn't due to attorney-client privilege.

    Some senators said at the time that Hoerchner had admitted before talking with Napolitano that she was just guessing about the date Hill first said she'd been harassed by Thomas. A book published after the Thomas hearings said the date Hoerchner guessed, September 1981, was before Hill went to work for Thomas
    Well, in all fairness to Napolitano: (1) she's on solid ground re attorney-client privilege, and (2) it seems her intervention, in this instance, was to cause Ms. Hoerchner to give a non-perjurious answer (or a less perjurious one?).

    The larger point -- and it has considerable ramifications for the direction of "this our tottering state" -- is whether conservatives have memories as long as those of liberals. There are solid conservative lawyers lying around unconfirmed today to the judgeships to which they were appointed, because of associations far less rebarbative than Anita Hill.

    If, for conservatives, the Thomas-Hill hearings are water under the bridge, then anything can be. For liberals, nothing ever is.

    :: David M. Wagner 12:54 PM [+] ::
    ...

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