Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson said Tuesday that she could not provide a definition for the word “woman.”
Jackson, who appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee for her second day of confirmation hearings, pushed back on the question from Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and said that it was not in her purview as a judge to provide an answer to that.
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
“Can you provide a definition for the word ‘woman’?” Blackburn asked.
“Can I provide a definition?” Jackson repeated the question.
“Mmhmm, yeah,” Blackburn confirmed.
“I can’t,” Jackson replied.
“You can’t?” Blackburn asked.
“Not — in this context, I’m not a biologist,” Jackson laughed.
“So you believe the meaning of the word ‘woman’ is so unclear and controversial that you can’t give me a definition?” Blackburn continued to press.
“Senator, in my works a judge, what I do is I address disputes,” Jackson pushed back, suggesting that she could only provide a decision based on arguments and the law. “If there is a dispute about a definition, people make arguments and I look at the law and I decide, so — I’m not —”
“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,” Blackburn continued.
Blackburn then pivoted to address the controversy surrounding the NCAA swimming championships and the fact that UPenn’s transgender swimmer Lia Thomas — who is still biologically male — was allowed to compete against biological women. Thomas ultimately won first place in the 500-yard freestyle, fifth place in the 200-yard freestyle, and eighth place in the 100-yard freestyle.
“Just last week an entire generation of young girls watched as our taxpayer-funded institutions permitted a biological man to compete and beat a biological woman in the NCAA swimming championships,” Blackburn said, asking, “What message do you think this sends to girls who aspire to compete and win in sports at the highest levels?”
“Senator, I’m not sure what message that sends,” Jackson replied, adding that she could not answer questions about the legal issues that could arise from that situation because those were issues that could very well come before the court in the future.
After Thomas won the 500-yard freestyle event, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) responded by announcing that Sarasota native Emma Weyant — who took second place to Thomas in the 500-yard freestyle at the championship meet — was the true champion.
DeSantis signed a proclamation to that effect on Tuesday, saying in an accompanying tweet, “By allowing men to compete in women’s sports, the NCAA is destroying opportunities for women, making a mockery of its championships, and perpetuating a fraud. In Florida, we reject these lies and recognize Sarasota’s Emma Weyant as the best women’s swimmer in the 500y freestyle.”
By allowing men to compete in women's sports, the NCAA is destroying opportunities for women, making a mockery of its championships, and perpetuating a fraud.
In Florida, we reject these lies and recognize Sarasota's Emma Weyant as the best women's swimmer in the 500y freestyle. pic.twitter.com/tBmFxFE3q6
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 22, 2022