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Ketanji Brown Jackson Says She Can’t Define ‘Woman’ Because ‘I’m Not a Biologist’

Mediaite logo Mediaite 3/23/2022 Michael Luciano

During the second day of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) asked her to give a definition of the word “woman.”

Jackson, a woman, said she could not give one because “I am not a biologist.”

On Tuesday night, Blackburn questioned Jackson about United States v. Virginia, in which the court ruled that the Virginia Military Institute’s prohibition on women students violated the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.

Blackburn noted that Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the court’s opinion, and quoted her as writing, “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.”

The senator asked, “Do you agree with Justice Ginsburg that there are physical differences between men and women that are enduring?”

Jackson replied, “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–”

Video: Sen. Blackburn asks Ketanji Brown Jackson to define 'woman' (USA TODAY)


Blackburn interrupted, prompting this exchange:

BLACKBURN: 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?

JACKSON: 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.

BLACKBURN: Ok. And can you provide a definition for the word “woman”?

JACKSON: Can I provide a definition?


JACKSON: No. I can’t.

BLACKBURN: You can’t?

JACKSON: Not in this context. I’m not a biologist.

BLACKBURN: So, you believe 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.

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.

It’s not the first time Blackburn and Brown have had a notable back and forth. On Monday, the senator asked the judge, “Is it your personal hidden agenda to incorporate critical race theory into our legal system?”

Watch above via C-SPAN.

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