Democrats are furious in the wake of Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Plenty of that fury is grounded in Ford’s claim that Kavanaugh tried to rape her while both were high school students in the 1980s.

But it’s not all about that. At least some of the Democratic intensity on this issue can be explained by history.

If Kavanaugh is confirmed, he will join Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. For many liberals, that adds insult to injury. Thomas narrowly won Senate approval in the early ’90s after Anita Hill testified that he had sexually harassed her when they worked together. Gorsuch filled a seat left vacant for a year after the death of Antonin Scalia, with Senate Republicans blocking Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland.

Democrats are still angry over both of these incidents. And the desire to avenge Hill and Garland is strong.