VAWA was enacted after Anita Hill’s testimony against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas over alleged sexual harassment and the 1992 “Year of the Woman,” which brought a record number of women to the House and Senate. It lapsed less than three months after Christine Blasey Ford testified that then-Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when the two were in high school and after another election brought a wave of new female lawmakers to Capitol Hill.
Thomas and Kavanaugh denied the women’s allegations, and both now serve on the Supreme Court.
Democrats have vowed to fight for a long-term reauthorization of the law during this Congress. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) stated last week that he would work with Reps. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) to finish the task.
Liberal advocacy groups withdrew support for Jackson Lee as the effort’s leader because of a new lawsuit that claims she fired an aide who planned to sue a nonprofit Jackson Lee ran over an alleged sexual assault.
Jackson Lee has denied through her office that she retaliated against the woman.