Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is the first black woman to be nominated to the Supreme Court, but critics are raising eyebrows at her failure to clearly define the word “woman” during her confirmation hearing on Tuesday, instead telling Republican Senator Martha Blackburn (TN) that she’s “not a biologist.”
During her time questioning the nominee, Blackburn asked Jackson if she agreed with the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that there were certain differences between men and women.
“Do you agree with Justice Ginsburg that there are physical differences between men and women that are enduring?” the lawmaker asked, as The New York Post reported.
“Senator, respectfully, I am not familiar with that particular quote or case, so it’s hard for me to comment as to whether or not …,” Jackson began before Blackburn interjected.
“I’d love to get your opinion on that, and you can submit that. Do you interpret Justice Ginsburg’s meaning of men and women as male and female?” Blackburn asked.
“Again, because I don’t know the case, I do not know how I’d interpret it. I’d need to read the whole thing,” Jackson replied.
“And can you provide a definition for the word ’woman’?” Blackburn pressed.
Ultimately, Jackson flatly said, “No, I can’t.”
“You can’t?” Blackburn replied.
“Not in this context. I’m not a biologist,” Jackson said.
“So, you believe the meaning of the word ’woman’ is so unclear and controversial that you can’t give me a definition?” Blackburn continued.
“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,” Jackson, a federal judge, answered.
BLACKBURN: “Can you define ‘woman’?”
JACKSON: “I’m not a biologist. I’m a judge.” pic.twitter.com/keCO0PE45I
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) March 23, 2022
The exchange captured attention as it touches on one of the most controversial cultural issues of our time that has arisen amid the prevalence of the gender theory approach towards gender identity.
Adherents of the philosophy believe that biological males can be considered “women” and biological males can be considered “men” if they desire, leading to the advent of terms like “pregnant person” and “chestfeeding” to replace the gendered “pregnant woman” and “breastfeeding.”
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