This day in history: Oct. 15, 1991

Clarence Thomas is confirmed as Supreme Court justice.
5:08 | 10/12/18

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Transcript for This day in history: Oct. 15, 1991
The senate gave its advice and after all this bitter debate has given its consent by a very narrow margin to the nomination of judge Clarence Thomas to the supreme court's. In the end the vote 52 in favor 48 against. Was closer than the way it looked like he was going to be before professor hill. Charge judge Thomas with sexual harassment before hill and Thomas told their stories to a mesmerized national audience. Before their supporters publicly tore each other apart. There were a lot of wounded in this battle but in the end Clarence Thomas will sit on the court we begin on Capitol Hill with a ABC's Jim wooten. On this crisp autumn day the people came early to their capital to watch a bit of history to cast their votes in a way. To be seen and heard the car. We've gone. On this issue that has riveted the country now for more than a week. Nebraska police in town for breakfast with their senator Democrat X in told him to vote yes on Thomas. Though his wife and daughters were urging him to say no over. Little bit senators students. Ups or Democrat Lieberman on the fence. Thank him a call from White House consultant Ken Duberstein I appreciate your calling. Enormously Ruth IQ and on the senate floor even though thomas' confirmation was never much in doubt. They were struggling as well. And at times the debate was nothing but ugly. Republican Specter said professor hill had perjured herself. There is no proof that Anita Hill has perjured herself. And Shane. On anyone who suggests that she adds. We do not need characterizations. Like shame in this chamber from the senator for Massachusetts. I reiterated. The senator from Pennsylvania. And to. That the waiver request that you were greeted with me. We're big. Like Kennedy other Democrats including Mikulski accuse the president of orchestrating a smear offensive against professor bill. The setting people who gave us the worst of what racial stereotypes. And political campaigns the Willie Horton ads have now smeared I need you now. Republican hatch denied the White House was running the confirmation strategy. Anybody believes that. I know their job in Massachusetts and I'll be happy to sell to. With the help of Senator Kennedy. The usually staid senate was stunned. But that seemed a clear reference to the 1969. Drowning death of a young woman and Kennedy's car and work. Patch later apologized words not the bridge he really meant he says. I ask unanimous consent that the word Massachusetts be debated. And the road Brooklyn they substituted therefore as originally intended. It was not the Senate's finest hour or Democrat lady on judge Thomas. We've been present more evidence of his willingness to discuss pornographic films came to an abrupt halt. On the day he left wants schools and at one believes Anita hill's testimony as I do it's obvious it did Paul woody came to Washington. Democrats Dixon decided to vote for the nominee because. Under our system. The person being accused. Gets the benefit. Hope but doubt. If we're going to give the benefit of the doubt. Let's give it to the court. Let's give it to the country. Byrd was perhaps the most impassioned of the Democrats opposing Thomas greatly offended he said by the judges and protests of racism and lynching. I think it was blatant intimidation. And I'm sorry to say I think it worked. But none of the words changed anybody's mind as judge Thomas is a Republican defenders one by one argued the case they had already made. Leaving John Danforth this restrained declaration of victory for his old friend and Prodi today. We have the power. By the boat that we are about to cast. To say to our country. That this strategy of digging up dirt the strategy of throwing dirt. The strategy of leaking confidential reports. Does. Not work. In late afternoon the vice president arrived at the capitol to preside over the closing moments of the debate has had at last the vote. Disturbed Biden. Mr. Bingham. On this vote the days are 52. And then maze are 48. The nomination of Clarence Thomas of Georgia. To be associate justice of the United States Supreme Court is hereby confirm. Nobody in that old chamber was surprised of course. But everybody in the senate was enormous and we relieve that it was over.

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