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Clarence Page: What is a woman, Judge Jackson? We’ll see you in court

6 50 1
09.04.2022

Of all the questions that ranged from wise to wacky during Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings to the Supreme Court, one sticks out with memorable prominence: What is a woman?

Was Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, reaching for a “gotcha” with that question to President Joe Biden’s nominee to be the high court’s first Black woman justice?

That’s a good question. If you thought it was pretty well settled during your preschool potty training, as I did, you haven’t been paying attention to the moral panic ignited in some quarters about transgender rights.

It includes such roiling controversies as “bathroom bills” to limit bathroom access to the gender one is assigned at birth, and participation by transgender athletes such as Lia Thomas, who recently won a collegiate swimming championship.

In fact, regardless of where one stands on this thorny issue, the increasingly strong possibility that the definition of “woman” under the law might soon reach the Supreme Court is an excellent reason for Jackson to avoid answering the question, which she did.

But that practical consideration didn’t end the matter for Blackburn, who quickly took to........

© Chicago Tribune


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