Ketanji Brown Jackson smacks down transphobic GOP senator Marsha Blackburn with four words

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson/Sen. Marsha Blackburn
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson/Sen. Marsha BlackburnPhoto: Screenshot

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.

Related: Dr. Phil invited anti-transgender activists to spread hate on TV & it’s painful to watch

“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.”

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.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified Blackburn as a senator from Mississippi. We regret the error.

Transgender people get pregnant. And sometimes trans people need abortions.

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