Nan Aron

Nan Aron is president and founder of Alliance for Justice.

Recent Articles

Every Woman in America Is Watching

The allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court hopeful Brett Kavanaugh have roiled the country in much the same way that Anita Hill’s accusations against Clarence Thomas once did. Will the harsh glare of the #MeToo era spark a different outcome?

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
More than a quarter century ago, a university professor named Anita Hill was abused, shamed, and ignored by the U.S. Senate—just for having the courage to go before the Judiciary Committee and describe how she’d been sexually harassed by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. I know because I was at that hearing. My organization, Alliance for Justice, played a role in bringing Professor Hill’s story to light, by alerting the Senate Judiciary Committee to her experiences and ability to corroborate what had been widely whispered, but not validated, about Clarence Thomas. I also remember the pain and the outrage that women felt at the way Professor Hill was treated, and I want very much to believe that such a thing would not happen again in today’s #MeToo era. Because here we are again, with allegations that bear a sad similarity to Hill’s—even as they also display stark differences. Again, we have a woman making the excruciating decision to come...

Courting an Advantage

The temporary lull in judicial confirmation battles has come to an end. Hoping to ramp up its base in time for the midterm elections, the White House recently promised supporters that it will flood the Senate with more right-wing appeals court nominees. Simultaneously, Senate Republicans have pushed for votes on existing ones, some of whom are so divisive that Majority Leader Bill Frist has not acted until now. Meanwhile, conservative activists sit like vultures, hoping that the 86-year-old John Paul Stevens retires and gives President Bush a crack at naming a third justice. For their part, most Democrats prefer taking up almost any subject to avoid having to talk about judges. Where Republicans see opportunities by scoring points with their base, Democrats see pitfalls, believing that every vote against a nominee invites voter discontent. Americans care about vigorous enforcement of civil-rights laws, as well as worker, health and safety, and environmental protections. But Democrats...

Court Side

The withdrawal of Miguel Estrada's judicial nomination is a setback for the Bush administration in its efforts to cement the far right's hold on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Will this be a temporary setback? That depends in part on whether President Bush -- with the help of Senate Republicans -- is able to push through the nominations of Brett Kavanaugh and Janice Rogers Brown, two other right-wing nominees to the D.C. Circuit who, like Estrada, are extremists unfit for the bench. Defending the D.C. Circuit from far-right nominees is worth the fight because it is second only to the Supreme Court in prestige and power. It is also a sort of farm team for the high court: Three of the nine sitting Supreme Court justices came from the D.C. Circuit. Bush nominated Estrada for a reason: Like the Republican officials who once shepherded the career of Clarence Thomas, the White House clearly viewed an appointment to the D.C. Circuit as a stepping stone to the...