Ketanji Brown Jackson, US President Joe Biden’s nominee for the Supreme Court was asked pointed questions about same-sex marriage and gender identity during her confirmation hearing on Tuesday.

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It has been over seven years since same-sex marriage became legally recognised across the United States. That fact did not stop Texas senator John Cornyn, a Republican, from questioning Jackson on same-sex marriage and whether it creates a conflict with people’s religious beliefs. 

‘That is The Nature of a Right’

Questioning Jackson on the Supreme Court’s role in making policy, Cornyn asked, “When the Supreme Court decides that something that is not even in the Constitution is a fundamental right and no state can pass any law that conflicts with the Supreme Court’s edict, particularly in an area where people have sincerely held religious beliefs, doesn’t that necessarily create a conflict between what people may believe as a matter of their religious doctrine or faith and what the federal government says is the law of the land?” 

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Jackson pushed back on the question, responding, “Well Senator, that is the nature of a right. That when there is a right, it means that there are limitations on regulation, even if people are regulating pursuant to their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Asked To Define a Woman

Republican Senators questioned Jackson on gender identity issues with an overtly transphobic line of questioning. 

Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn asked Jackson about her definition of “woman.” 

“Can you define the word ‘woman’?”

Jackson responded in a bewildered tone: “No, I can’t… Not in this context. I’m not a biologist.”

Texas Senator Ted Cruz asked, “Under the modern leftist sensibilities, If I decide, right now, that I’m a woman, then apparently I’m a woman. Does that mean that I would have Article Three standing to challenge a gender-based restriction?”

He then asked, “I’m a Hispanic man. Could I decide I was an Asian man?”

Jackson responded, “Senator, I’m not able to answer your question, you’re asking me about hypotheticals.”

Ketanji Brown Jackson was nominated to the Supreme Court on February 25 to fill the vacancy left by retiring Justice Stephen Breyer. 

If confirmed, she would be the first African American woman to sit on the US Supreme Court. 

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