Gender is a complex social construct that’s influenced by biology and culture. However, studies have shown gender does not always follow the binary of male and female. The courts are now seeing cases where people identify in one or more non-binary genders. What will these cases mean for our understanding of gender?
The “Judge Jackson and the Biology of Gender” is a blog post by ketanji jackson, where she discusses her personal experience in dealing with gender identity.
On Wednesday, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, a candidate for associate judge of the United States Supreme Court, spoke before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington.
Julia Nikhinson/Bloomberg News photo
Senate confirmation hearings can be tiresome events, with presidential aspirants often acting as though they’ve been instructed in the art of the cliché by fictitious baseball star Crash Davis. Supreme Court candidates have looked unusually careful in striving to say little of consequence since the hearings for Judge Robert Bork in 1987.
It’s unclear if Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson had this in mind when he answered a question from Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.) this week. Here’s how it went down:
Senator Blackburn (R-TN): Could you provide me a definition of the term “woman”? Jackson, the Judge: Is it possible for me to submit a definition? No. Blackburn: You’re right. Jackson: I’m sorry, but I’m not able to. Blackburn You can’t do it? Jackson: No, not in this situation. I’m neither a scientist or a biologist.
Hmm. Was this an evasion, a statement of cultural acuity, or a clear and suitable response? Judge Jackson’s remark sparked a firestorm of debate on social media. Bridget Phetasy, a podcaster, observed:
In only four years, we’ve gone from #BelieveAllWomen to “What is this term you speak of?” What a fascinating turn of events.
The Independent Women’s Forum’s Inez Stepman wrote:
Re: “I’m not a biologist” – they want you to depend on the cult of knowledge so much that you have to check “experts say” to determine what a woman is.
Judge Jackson alluded to “a woman’s pregnancy” in answer to a second inquiry on a different matter on Tuesday. As a result, she seems at ease with the term, even though she does not think she is equipped to describe it. Maybe she’s one of those who wonders what we’d do if we didn’t have specialists.
RealClearInvestigations’ Mark Hemingway had a different perspective on the judge’s remarks:
“Just catching up, but if Jackson just stated that she’d need to be a biologist to explain what a woman is, shouldn’t that resolve the problem that it’s a BIOLOGICAL issue, not an emotional one?” a buddy texted.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) challenged on Wednesday how a court could evaluate a prospective plaintiff’s standing to challenge a gender-based regulation without first determining what a woman is. Judge Jackson answered as follows:
I know I’m a woman, I know Senator Blackburn is a woman, and the woman I most adore in the world, my mother, is here today.
However, when Sen. Cruz questioned whether he could chose to describe himself as a woman or an Asian guy in order to get standing in discrimination cases, the court refused to explicitly respond.
Perhaps an expert witness would be required to undertake a biological examination of the Texas senator. This barely seems essential, but if the court has decided to base sex decisions on biology rather than philosophy, it appears logical.
Ms. Stepman, for one, is skeptical of the judge’s reliance on biological authority:
Where have you gone if you believe current biology departments are solving this question correctly? Get accustomed to having 17 studies that “prove” sex doesn’t exist thrown in your face if you still rely on referencing “studies say” in an empirical argument. The academy has vanished.
Isn’t the biology department a better bet than the legal school when it comes to chromosomal questions?
The most crucial thing for reasonable policy, according to the recent 24 months’ history, is to keep key matters as far away from the school of public health as feasible.
In a letter to the Journal in 2020, Mary Ellen Bork reflected on the 1987 hearings that permanently impacted the Senate confirmation process:
Most people don’t remember the hearings on Robert Bork’s Supreme Court nomination, but I do. I was in the Senate hearing chamber as then-Sen. Biden presided over a rigged hearing full of unparalleled levels of dishonesty and distortion of a man recognized for his integrity and judicial knowledge throughout the four months of savage political campaigning against this judicial nomination, my husband. Democrats blatantly misled about Bob’s voting record. Sen. Biden was accused of plagiarism on the fourth day of the hearings and forced to withdraw from the presidential campaign. Sen. Biden planned a violent lying onslaught over the course of a week and was caught passing off someone else’s comments as his own. He is still a guy without a compass, steered now by prevailing progressive winds, 33 years later. Democrats would frequently approach Bob after he left the court in 1988 to dedicate his time to writing and teaching, apologizing for the way Democratic politicians treated him and leaving with tears in their eyes.
In the meanwhile, in Afghanistan, Unfortunately, there is a genuine risk that Afghan women may be known in the future as individuals who were not permitted to attend school beyond the sixth grade. Margherita Stancati and Ehsanullah Amiri of the Wall Street Journal report:
The Taliban have abruptly suspended a plan to reopen secondary schools for females, breaking a previous promise and further undermining women’s rights under their control. Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August, most schools for females in grades six and above have been closed. The organization had previously said that starting on March 23, the start of the new school year, all adolescent females will be able to return to class. However, the Taliban’s Ministry of Education ordered secondary schools for females to close until further notice late Tuesday. The government said that girls’ schools will reopen only when uniforms were developed in conformity with Islamic law and custom.
“The Cost: Trump, China, and American Revival” is co-authored by James Freeman.
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The “Judge Jackson and the Biology of Gender” is a book that was published in 2018. The author, Ketanji Brown Jackson, is a professor at Yale University who studies the biology of gender. Reference: ketanji brown jackson daughters.
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