Home Christian News People Find Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Refusal to Define ‘Woman’ Controversial—But for Different...

People Find Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Refusal to Define ‘Woman’ Controversial—But for Different Reasons

ketanji brown jackson
Screenshot via C-Span

Wednesday is the third day this week that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s nominee for Supreme Court Justice, will spend in Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. One of several controversial moments from Jackson’s hearings so far was the judge’s response to whether or not she could define what a “woman” is. 

“Can you provide a definition for the word, ‘woman’?” asked Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) on Tuesday near the end of a 13-hour session.

“Can I provide a definition?” repeated Jackson. “No. I can’t.”

“You can’t?” asked Blackburn. “Not in this context,” said Jackson. “I’m not a biologist.” 

Blackburn expressed dismay at this response, as have several conservatives, but others believe that Jackson’s answer actually revealed a conservative view of gender.

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Ketanji Brown Jackson Faces Senate Judiciary Committee 

On Feb. 25, 2022, President Biden nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court of the United States. If her nomination is successful, Jackson will be the first Black woman to sit on the nation’s highest court.

Before Sen. Blackburn began questioning Jackson, the senator commented that it is clear Jackson is likable, highly talented, and a good friend. Said Blackburn, “It’s why we continue to ask you about your views on issues because all of that goes into forming who you are and your worldview.” 

Blackburn then introduced the topic of abortion, specifically trying to discern how Jackson views Roe vs. Wade, which the Supreme Court could overturn in the near future. The senator mentioned that earlier in the hearing, Jackson chose not to comment regarding on her views on abortion. Blackburn then quoted from a brief where Jackson had described pro-life women as a “hostile, noisy crowd of in-your-face protestors.”

Blackburn said she found it “incredibly concerning” for Jackson to have such a “hostile view” of pro-lifers. She asked if, when Jackson goes to church, she perceives the pro-life women around her in this way. After first answering by explaining why she wrote the brief, Jackson eventually said, “Senator, that was a statement and a brief made, an argument for my client. It is not the way I think of or characterize people.” 

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