As part of the hearings for her confirmation to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was asked by a Tennessee senator to define the word “woman.”
Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) pressed Jackson for a definition, which the judge said she could not provide. The following is the transcript of the dialogue between the pair:
Blackburn: “In the United States v. Virginia … the Majority Justice Ginsburg stated, ‘supposed inherent differences are no longer accepted as a ground for race or national origin classifications, physical differences between men and women, however, are enduring. The two sexes are not fungible. A community made up exclusively of one. Sex is different from a community composed of both.’ Do you agree with Justice Ginsburg that there are physical differences between men and women that are enduring?…”
Blackburn: “Can you provide a definition for the word ‘woman’?”
Jackson: “Can I provide a definition?”
Blackburn: “Mhmm, yeah.”
Jackson: “No, I can’t.”
Blackburn: “You can’t?”
Jackson: “Not in this context – I’m not a biologist.”
Blackburn: “The meaning of the word ‘woman’ is so unclear and controversial that you can’t give me a definition?”
Jackson: “Senator, in my work as a judge, what I do is I address disputes. If there’s a dispute about a definition, people make arguments, and I look at the law and I decide. So I’m not …”
Blackburn: “The fact that you can’t give me a straight answer about something as fundamental as what a woman is underscores the dangers of the kind of progressive education that we are hearing about. Just last week, an entire generation of young girls watched as our taxpayer-funded institutions permitted a biological man to compete and be a biological woman in the NCAA swimming championships. What message do you think this sends to girls who aspire to compete and win in sports at the highest levels?”
Jackson was ridiculed Wednesday over the exchange.
“This is a simple question that requires a simple answer,” Blackburn said on Twitter. “It’s a major red flag that a Supreme Court nominee backed by the far left refuses to define the word ‘woman.'”
When a reporter tweeted news about “same sex couples,” high-profile attorney Harmeet Dhillon chimed in.
“What is a same sex couple? I’m not a biologist,” she asked sarcastically.
What is a same sex couple? I’m not a biologist — 🤷🏽♀️🤷🏽♀️🤷🏽♀️ https://t.co/VVDucCBQNL
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) March 23, 2022
“I have no idea what that is… I’m not a biologist!!!” Donald Trump Jr. said, posting a photo of a shark.
I have no idea what that is… I’m not a biologist!!! pic.twitter.com/rcw5xu56T5
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 23, 2022
The Federalist pointed out that during the first two days of her confirmation hearings, Jackson used the word “woman,” which she says she cannot define, 48 times.
The question came in the context over a raging public debate about biologically male transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, who last week won the women’s 500-yard National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) championship.
Thomas has received harsh criticism from conservatives, who say that people who are born males should not be able to compete in women’s sports.
Feminist groups have largely remained silent on the issue.
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