Former Sen. Hank Brown recalls Anita Hill firestorm

DENVER -- Someone with an interesting perspective on the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process is former Colorado Sen. Hank Brown.

The Colorado Republican was on the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991 when Anita Hill testified against Clarence Thomas.

She accused him of sexual harassment and threatened his confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The former senator says there are similarities in the situations.

While Brown does not like the way the Kavanaugh allegations were brought forward, or the timing, he does say they are serious.

“Allegations of sexual misconduct, I think,  are totally inconsistent with the kind of standard of behavior you expect from a  member of the Supreme Court, so it's a significant factor,” Brown said.

But he adds this is a complex situation.

One accuser, Christine Blasey Ford,  is scheduled to testify about an alleged assault at a party in high school.

“Thirty-six years is a long time. The other people that Dr. Ford named who were at the party do not verify her story, so you have conflicting stories,” Brown said.

Brown said the process requires lawmakers to listen to both sides.

“Part of it will be the credibility of Dr. Ford and how the story stands together. Part of it will be the credibility of Judge Kavanaugh and I think his life time history," Brown said.

Brown believes the challenge for Kavanaugh is significant.

“He's in position where he has to prove a negative, prove that something didn't happen," he said.

The burden of proof, he says, is different.

“Of course the burden of proof is on the accuser in a criminal proceeding, but this is not a criminal proceeding. It's a real question of Judge Kavanaugh's reputation and his integrity,” he said.

So what does Brown think will happen?

“I think the decision is very up in the air," he said.

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