Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and GOP Sen. Marsha Blackburn sparred over questions of sex and gender during the second day of Jackson’s Senate confirmation hearing late Tuesday, with the Supreme Court nominee begging off defining the word “woman” because she is not a “biologist.”
The two women, who clashed over abortion and transgender rights before the Senate Judiciary Committee, delved into the definition during a discussion of the Supreme Court’s 1996 decision striking down the Virginia Military Institute’s male-only admission policy on the grounds it violated the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.
Blackburn (R-Tenn.) pointed out that the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the court’s opinion in the case and stated that “supposed inherent differences are no longer accepted as a ground for race or national origin classifications.”
The senator asked Jackson: “Do you agree with Justice Ginsburg that there are physical differences between men and women that are enduring?”
“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 …,” Jackson began before Blackburn interjected.