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After Trump’s nomination of Kavanaugh, a university professor, Christine Blasey Ford, came forward and accused Kavanaugh of forcing himself on her while the two were at a party in high school. She says he pinned her down on a bed, attempted to remove her clothing and covered her mouth when she tried to scream. As expected, Kavanaugh has unequivocally denied these allegations.

On Sunday, The New Yorker magazine published a story in which a second woman, Deborah Ramirez, says Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a drunken party while both were first-year students at Yale University.

“It was kind of a joke,” Ramirez told the magazine. “And now it’s clear to me it wasn’t a joke.”

It seems like a lifetime ago now. Just more than two years before our new SA was born in 1994, a brilliant black man was about to make history in the United States of America. Clarence Thomas, a lawyer and government official who had overcome racism and hardship in the American south, had been nominated to succeed the legendary Judge Thurgood Marshall as the second African-American to serve on the US Supreme Court. Then a young, brilliant (she held a Yale law degree) black woman called Anita Hill stepped forward with charges that Thomas had sexually harassed her while she worked with him. A gender and racial firestorm erupted: many said she was trying to “pull a good black man down”; Thomas himself said her allegations were a “hi-tech lynching”; a Republican legislator implied that Hill had merely been fantasising about the whole thing. Others said she was just angry that he had allegedly not paid her any (romantic or sexual) attention. This was in October 1991. This was before the ...

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