Thomas fight forges strange alliance

October 13, 1991|By Washington Bureau of The Sun

WASHINGTON -- In the heat of the battle over Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch made a strange alliance yesterday -- unknowingly.

The Utah Republican, one of the Senate's sternest foes of abortion, put into his legal arsenal against Judge Thomas' accuser, Anita F. Hill, some of the work of Patrick F. Kelly of Wichita, Kan.

Mr. Kelly is a U.S. District Court judge -- and happens to be the one who last summer aroused the deep enmity of Senator Hatch, the Bush administration and the anti-abortion Operation Rescue organization by issuing blunt orders against the blockading of abortion clinics in Wichita last summer.

The Kansas judge, however, provided Senator Hatch with forensic ammunition by writing an opinion in 1988 that contained references to "Long Dong Silver" -- a name that Ms. Hill said Judge Thomas used in describing pornographic movies to her. Mr. Hatch seemed to want fellow senators to conclude that Ms. Hill had learned that from Judge Kelly, not Judge Thomas.

Senator Hatch, told that Judge Kelly was the author of that opinion, at first looked blank. Then, he remarked: "Oh God! I should have noticed that."

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