PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla.—Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson could not define what a woman is, but “Ruth Bader Ginsburg would have been able to answer that question,” Rep. Elise Stefanik, chair of the House Republican Conference, says.
“You and I both know that you and I are women and we are proud to be women,” Stefanik, R-N.Y., told a reporter for The Daily Signal during an interview Thursday at the 2022 House Republican Issues Conference here.
Stefanik was referring to the moment when Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., asked Jackson to “provide a definition for the word ‘woman’” during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing Wednesday.
After hesitating, Jackson responded by saying that she couldn’t define the word, adding, “I’m not a biologist.”
Stefanik, the House’s No. 3 Republican, said she finds Jackson’s answer “pretty ridiculous,” adding that her response to Blackburn’s question was “an unacceptable answer for a Supreme Court judge.”
Stefanik said she also has questions about Jackson’s record, including before she was a judge on the D.C. Circuit and the D.C. District Court
I have questions regarding her qualifications. I have questions about her qualifications, but most importantly, about her soft-on criminal sentencing record. And there’s not full transparency.
I stand with the Republican senators, who have requested additional 48,000 documents from the time she spent on the Senate. [U.S.] Sentencing Commission, and we deserve transparency when it’s the highest court in the land.
So I think the Republican senators have done a very good job asking issue specific questions, and you know, we’ll see.
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s four-day hearing on Jackson concluded Thursday, and the panel plans to vote April 4 on Jackson’s nomination by President Joe Biden to succeed retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.
The Senate, which is 50-50 divided between Democrats and Republicans, with Vice President Kamala Harris ready to break a tie to break it, has not scheduled a vote on Jackson’s confirmation to the floor. She will need 51 votes.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declared Thursday that he will not vote against Jackson’s confirmation.
“I cannot and will not support Judge Jackson for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court,” McConnell saidIn remarks on the Senate floor.
McConnell referenced Jackson’s refusal to directly address the prospect of court-packing as a key reason he could not support her nomination.
“Other nominees to this Supreme Court have responded as I will, which is that it is a policy question for Congress,” Jackson told the Judiciary Committee when asked her opinion on adding to the number of Supreme Court justices.
One of two senators who has broken in the past with the Senate’s Democratic caucus pledged his vote to Jackson.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said Friday that he will vote to confirm Jackson, writing in a public statement: “After meeting with her, considering her record, and closely monitoring her testimony and questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, I have determined I intend to vote for her nomination to serve on the Supreme Court.”
Arizona senator Kyrsten Sinema, the other Senate Democrat to have voted against spending bills, has not yet said how she will vote on Jackson.
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