Commonwealth Policy Center

Sen. Marsha Blackburn asked Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to define the word “woman” at her Senate confirmation hearing. Jackson refused and said, “I can’t… I’m not a biologist.” This may seem like a “gotcha” question for the Supreme Court candidate who was nominated by Pres. Biden. But she was nominated precisely because she is a woman. Jackson used the word woman 14 times the first two days of her confirmation hearing. It’s clear that there’s a difference between men and women, and Judge Jackson knows it. Yet the fear of saying the wrong thing–something we all know to be true has kept many from stating the obvious. Words matter. And at the very least, the next judge to sit on the highest court in the nation should understand what a woman is.