Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife do deserve an apology from Anita Hill, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said Wednesday.
Hatch backed the associate justice's wife, Virginia, who called Brandeis Law professor Anita Hill and asked her to apologize for accusing Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his 1991 confirmation hearings to join the Supreme Court.
"People have got to understand that Justice Thomas and his wife are good honest people who deserve an apology!" Hatch wrote Wednesday night on his Twitter account.
The 19-year-old controversy was revived after The New York Times reported that Virginia Thomas called Hill earlier this month, leaving a voicemail in which she requested an apology and a "full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband.”
That voicemail made waves on Wednesday and led major newscasts, recalling a national controversy that touched on racial and gender nerves.
"Look, I was there. I know this more intimately than almost anybody," said Hatch, a longtime member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Wednesday evening on CNN. "And I can tell you that Clarence Thomas was telling the truth."
Whether Virginia Thomas, currently a leader of the conservative Tea Party movement, will get that apology is yet to be seen. Hill kept a low profile on Wednesday despite the intense media attention.
"I think this has probably grated on Ginni all these years," Hatch. "And I think she was probably hoping that maybe Anita Hill would admit that what she said was wrong."