Ketanji Brown Jackson Requested to Outline ‘Lady’ at Listening to

Republicans have spent hours this week attempting to painting Decide Ketanji Brown Jackson as an extremist on problems with race and an apologist for baby sexual abusers. Late Tuesday, Senator Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee, added one other social concern to the listing of cultural grievances the G.O.P. is foisting upon her in her affirmation hearings: gender — particularly, what makes a girl a girl.

Transgender rights are dominating outrage on the fitting, after the Republican governors of Indiana and Utah vetoed bans on the participation of transgender girls in girls’s sports activities in current days and a transgender swimmer, Lia Thomas, received a collegiate swimming championship.

Ms. Blackburn introduced that swimmer up late Tuesday as Decide Jackson’s first day of questioning was coming to a detailed, then requested, “Are you able to present a definition for the phrase ‘lady’?”

As she and different judicial nominees earlier than her have completed commonly, Decide Jackson dodged the query as exterior of her position on the bench, saying, “I’m not a biologist.”

However Ms. Blackburn pressed the purpose — and the hot-button concern.

“The truth that you possibly can’t give me a straight reply about one thing as elementary as what a girl is underscores the risks of the type of progressive schooling that we’re listening to about,” she stated. “Simply final week, a whole era of younger ladies watched as our taxpayer-funded establishments permitted a organic man to compete and be a organic lady within the N.C.A.A. swimming championships. What message do you assume this sends to women who aspire to compete and win in sports activities on the highest ranges?”

Social points which are animating Republican voters, notably problems with race, are additionally dominating Republican questioning of Decide Jackson, the primary Black lady to be put ahead for the Supreme Court docket. Ms. Blackburn’s insertion of gender into the hearings was not linked to any specific case coming earlier than the Supreme Court docket, or determined by the excessive court docket lately, as is custom at such hearings. A dialogue of stare decisis this was not.

However it was linked to the politics of the looming midterm elections. At 11 p.m. Tuesday evening, the senator’s workplace blasted out an e mail with the headline, “BREAKING: Decide Jackson Can not Outline The Phrase ‘Lady.’”

As they did all day on Tuesday, operatives on the Republican Nationwide Committee grabbed on to the newest line of social assault on Wednesday morning to amplify Ms. Blackburn’s message.

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