Supreme Court Nominee Judge Jackson Asked to Define A “Woman” At Confirmation Hearing But Refuses; Says “No, I Can’t… I’m Not A Biologist”

Marsha Blackburn Jackson
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was asked by Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) if she could “provide a definition for the word ‘woman.’” However, Jackson raised numerous conservative eyebrows when she refused to do so. Photo credit: PBS NewsHour /

WASHINGTON, D.C. – At her confirmation hearing on Tuesday, first-ever black female Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was asked by Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) if she could “provide a definition for the word ‘woman.’” However, Jackson raised numerous conservative eyebrows when she refused to do so.

“No, I can’t,” Jackson said, to which Blackburn responded, “You can’t?” “Not in this context. I’m not a biologist,” Jackson replied.

Blackburn criticized Jackson for her non-answer, saying that “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.”

The line of questioning between Blackburn and Jackson underscored the fact that the current state of gender politics in the United States – fueled by recent controversies involving Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas – is at a boiling point. Indeed, if Jackson is confirmed, she will inevitably preside over trans rights cases at some point while on the bench.


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Several noted conservatives also berated Jackson for refusing to define the word “woman,” including New York Post columnist Piers Morgan.

“I’m not a brain surgeon but I know what a brain is,” he tweeted. “This is where ‘progressive’ thinking leads – to a terror of stating basic unarguable facts lest it offend the woke brigade.”

Air Force veteran Eli Bremer, a pentathlete who competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and who is running for a Senate seat in Colorado, said that Jackson’s refusal to define a woman “could send the women’s rights movement back decades.”

Defining a female in sport is the core issue of women’s rights in sport, which have been federally protected by the federal government for the last 50 years,” he said. “In a world where Lia Thomas, a biological male, is robbing biological female athletes of their titles and scholarships, how should any woman feel that their rights will be protected under Joe Biden’s Supreme Court? Women’s rights advocates and feminists everywhere should be calling for her not to be confirmed.”

However, others stated appreciation for Jackson’s answer; Rebecca Jordan-Young, a scientist and gender studies scholar at Barnard College, said that the Supreme Court nominee expressed the right temperament for being a judge with her response.

The rest of her answer was more interesting and important,” Jordan-Young said. “She said ‘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.’ In other words, she said context matters, which is true in both biology and society. I think that’s a pretty good answer for a judge.”

Sen. Marsha Blackburn Questions Jackson In Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings

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