Washington Examiner | by Kate Scanlon | March 22, 2022
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Joe Biden’s nominee to the Supreme Court, said during her confirmation hearing Tuesday that she could not define the term “woman.”
Jackson was responding to questioning from Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, who asked about a number of culture war issues, including efforts to permit or ban transgender student-athletes to compete on teams corresponding to their gender identity rather than their biological sex.
In the exchange, Blackburn asked Jackson, in her second day of confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, to define the word “woman.”
Jackson responded that she could not.
“You can’t?” Blackburn asked.
“Not in this context. I’m not a biologist,” Jackson said, adding, “In my work as a judge, what I do is address disputes. If there is a dispute about a definition, people make arguments, and I look at the law, and I decide.”
It was not immediately clear what if any case Blackburn was referring to in her line of questioning.
At another point in Blackburn’s questioning of Jackson, the Tennessee lawmaker noted that the judge earlier in the day described Roe v. Wade as settled law.
In December, the Supreme Court heard Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case over a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Mississippi directly asked in its suit for the court to reconsider Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which some legal analysts argue could prompt the court to reverse or scale back its existing decisions. The court’s decision in the case is expected this summer.
Blackburn asked if Jackson would respect the decision if Roe were to be overturned in the Dobbs case.
Jackson replied that such a decision would be “worthy of respect” like any other decision made by the court.
“I commit to treating it as I would any other precedent,” she said.