Outrage after Ketanji Brown Jackson says she 'can't' define the word woman: 'Legit bizarre'

'The new leftist orthodoxy is that woman can’t be defined scientifically or logically'

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Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson was sharply criticized after she couldn’t define the word "woman" during her Senate Judiciary confirmation hearings Tuesday night.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., brought up transgender issues in her questioning and asked Jackson, "Can you provide a definition for the word ‘woman?’" 

"Can I provide a definition? No, I can’t," the judge responded before further explaining, "Not in this context, I'm not a biologist."

Critics on Twitter, largely from the right, immediately exploded over Jackson’s inability to give a clear response. 

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"The correct answer is for Jackson to just say ‘Me, I'm a woman’ but she didn't. This is legit bizarre," tweeted Spectator USA contributor Stephen L. Miller. "A pretty simple question and for someone who claims they aren't here to be political that's a pretty political answer."

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson testifies during her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson testifies during her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Several critics blamed progressive and woke ideology in their condemnations. 

"Ridiculous," media personality Piers Morgan tweeted. "I’m not a brain surgeon but I know what a brain is. This is where ‘progressive’ thinking leads - to a terror of stating basic unarguable facts lest it offend the woke brigade."

"The Party of Science," proclaimed RealClearInvestigations deputy editor Benjamin Weingarten. "Thing is, this is a perfect illustration of where progressive ideology leads us: To a position in which a Supreme Court nominee won’t admit the most basic of truths."

"Wow, our WOKE world has come to this that an educated woman can't even define herself... soon many WOKE brainwashed people won't even be able to define human..." investigative journalist Sara Carter wrote.

Some called it out as a form of virtue signaling, with conservative LGBTQ author Chad Felix Greene writing, "This has become the new way progressives express their moral superiority without revealing their intellectual weakness."

Editor-in-chief of The Federalist Mollie Hemingway added, "The new leftist orthodoxy is that ‘woman’ can’t be defined scientifically or logically and that if you do so define it, you must be canceled and destroyed. Healthy."

UNITED STATES - MARCH 21: Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., listens to senators opening statements during the confirmation hearing for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Bidens nominee for Associate Justice to the Supreme Court, on Monday, March 21, 2022. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

UNITED STATES - MARCH 21: Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., listens to senators opening statements during the confirmation hearing for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Bidens nominee for Associate Justice to the Supreme Court, on Monday, March 21, 2022. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Other Twitter critics pounced on Jackson invoking biology in her response. Informed Dissent podcaster Leonydus Johnson pointed out, "In her asinine deflection, she accidentally acknowledged that being a woman is defined by biology."

Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon noted that "to say biologists must answer this question is to suggest that womanhood is tied to biology (which is what conservatives argue)."

"If she knows it's a biological question then she knows the answer," American Commitment President Phil Kerpen chimed in.

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Some legal experts mused on the judicial implications, like Harmeet K. Dhillon, founder and CEO of The Center for American Liberty, who asked, "How do you adjudicate Title VII claims without being able to answer this question? Title IX?"

"The ideological extremism behind this professed ignorance, ironically, will likely lead to the upending of legal and constitutional prohibitions against sex discrimination. If one can't define what a ‘woman’ is, how can one protect ‘women’ from discrimination?" Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton asked.

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson arrives for the third day of her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Wednesday, March 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson arrives for the third day of her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Wednesday, March 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

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Several on Twitter, like GOP strategist Greg Price, noted the irony of Jackson's response in light of the fact that she was nominated because she is a woman: "Joe Biden picked her because she'd be the first black woman on SCOTUS and she's can't even define what the word ‘woman’ means." 

"The Supreme Court nominee hailed as historic because she’s a black woman can’t define what a woman is," echoed former Trump communications director Tim Murtaugh.