The Rehnquist Court (1986–2005)


Which Rehnquist Court justice had the closest confirmation vote?

Justice Clarence Thomas survived very contentious confirmation hearings to earn a close 52–48 favorable Senate vote. Thomas’s confirmation hearings were marked by testimony from law professor Anita Hill, who claimed that Thomas sexually harassed her when she worked for him at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The allegations were controversial, in part, because Hill initiated the charges years after the fact, on the eve of Thomas’s confirmation. Thomas vehemently denied the allegations and even referred to the proceedings as a “high-tech lynching.” The hearings were televised.


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