A Republican senator thought she could corner Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson with a gotcha question about trans people, but she didn’t fall for it.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) questioned Jackson during the second day of her Senate confirmation hearing yesterday and brought up transgender equality, which Blackburn opposes.
“Can you provide a definition for the word woman?” Blackburn asked.
“I can’t,” Judge Jackson replied. “Not in this context, I’m not a biologist.”
In another question, Blackburn asked Jackson about states that allow transgender students to participate in school sports.
“What message do you think this sends to girls who aspire to compete and win in sports at the highest levels?” she asked. Blackburn was probably only referring only to cisgender girls since she did not seem concerned with the well-being of transgender children during the hearing.
Again, Jackson took the question back to the law instead of getting stuck in a debate with a senator from Tennessee.
“Senator, I’m not sure what message that sends,” she replied. “If you’re asking me about the legal issues related to it, those are topics that are being hotly discussed, as you say, and could come to the court, so I’m not able to—”
Blackburn didn’t want to talk about legal issues or even hear Jackson’s answer.
“And I think it tells our girls that their voices don’t matter,” Blackburn interrupted as she started to rant. “I think it tells them that they’re second-class citizens. Parents want to have a Supreme Court justice who is committed to preserving parental autonomy and protecting our nation’s children.”
Judge Jackson response is intelligent
A trap was set for her
She smelled the trap and refused to fall into it
Same way if a case that is misleading is before her, she will not fall into it
Clear and professional way to be a JUDGE
— Zege 3 (@zege123) March 23, 2022
If anything, it’s the parents of transgender children who are currently having their rights curtailed. Last month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) ordered the state to investigate supportive parents of transgender children for child abuse. No state is taking similar measures against the parents of cisgender children.
On Twitter, Blackburn tried to brag about the exchange to her followers. Many people responded negatively to her.
You voted against equal pay for women and against the Violence Against Women Act, Marsha.
Please don't pretend you care about women.
— michele collins (@michele5411) March 23, 2022
Of everything we're facing today, you choose to focus on a biological definition from a Supreme Court nominee?
— Kami 🇺🇦 (@kamijane29) March 23, 2022
Second tweet I’ve seen from you on this and you haven’t provided a definition yourself. Nor have any supporters tweeting here.
— Todd Heim (@todd_heim54) March 23, 2022
Your questions were non-sensical, irrelevant and provided further embarrassment to the state of Tennessee and her citizens. Its a major red flag about your judgment that you asked such of Judge Jackson.
— Renata Johns (@RenataJohns) March 23, 2022
There’s a reason the GOP saved your questioning for late in the evening when no one was watching the hearings anymore
— MarshaBotburn (@MarshaGaslights) March 23, 2022
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified Blackburn as a senator from Mississippi. We regret the error.