Sen. Blackburn on That Moment with Judge Jackson

CLAY: We are joined now by Senator Marsha Blackburn. As I just tweeted, “I think she’s a woman, but I’m not a biologist.”

We just played that clip from the Senate hearing with Ketanji Brown Jackson — and, Senator Blackburn, I appreciate you joining us. I want to start with that question, because I think it has gone viral to a degree. And I have not seen a question in a Senate judiciary hearing go viral in a long time. I want to know, how did that question come to be? Were you nervous about asking it? Because it does feel like one of those questions that has a high-risk, high-reward to it. Did you expect to get the answer that you got? How did it come to be? Kind of take me through that process, as you prepared for this hearing.

SEN. BLACKBURN: Yeah. You know, one of the things that I had discovered was that she had come out very vocally in support of “progressive education” and, as she termed it, “the transformational power of progressive education,” and since I’m concerned about parental rights, I’ve heard a lot about that from Tennesseans, I was focused on that, and the curriculum that was taught at the school where she is on the board.

So we had researched that a little bit, found out they offered this class called Woke Kindergarten which teaches 5-year-olds how to choose their gender. And, of course, you have all of this going on where there is attention on allowing children to choose a gender at a very young age. You also have the restrictions on parents of how they want to rear and educate their children, whether it’s before it a conservative worldview or a liberal worldview, and school boards are beginning to take that authority.

So I had asked her about that, didn’t get a satisfactory answer. So I went to the U.S. vs. Virginia decision that Justice Ginsburg has written where she made the determination that male and female have enduring qualities, and those differences are enduring. Those distinctions are enduring. I couldn’t get her to answer if she did or did not agree with Justice Ginsburg. So I looked at her, and I said, “Well, define for me ‘woman,'” and she said, “I can’t.” I said, “You mean it is so hotly contested and controversial, you cannot define ‘woman’?”

She said, “I’m not a biologist.” So, I proceeded on to what was my third point in this, which was talking about the NCAA swimming competition and Lia Thomas and the way a biological male was competing with biological females, and how that disadvantages our young women. How it says to them, “Your voices don’t matter.” How it says to them, “You are second class citizens,” and it was the right point to make.

But, Clay, I got to tell you, I was stunned. I thought she would agree with Ginsburg. And then, we could move on and say, “Well, there are ‘defined and enduring differences between male and female,'” but she didn’t go there. This shows you how the woke left has so infiltrated this system over at the White House for federal judges on the district and appellate courts, and now we’re seeing it at the Supreme Court level.

BUCK: Senator Blackburn, it’s Buck. The ability to distinguish as a matter of law between male and female, would be something that if you can’t do it, would cause problems in a legal system. Clay and I talked about Title IX. Obviously, the NCAA athletes competing.


BUCK: So it does seem fascinating. It’s not only a window into the ideology of the left and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, and what is expected for people to be in good stead with the left these days, to essentially pretend ignorance. But beyond that, there are legal implications of this. I think people… The left is trying to say, “Oh, Senator Blackburn asked you a gotcha question!” It’s the most straightforward question imaginable, and there are also all legal implications for the distinguishing of men and women, when it comes to Title IX, federal contracts, the Violence Against Women Act, something that Joe Biden pushed for many, many years. It feels like there is more to it than even just their lack of willingness to define it.

SEN. BLACKBURN: Exactly right, and Title IX, dealing with the NCAA. You know, look at the mess that the leadership at the NCAA has made of men and women’s sports. Now, a federal judge is going to have to be able to accept the definition of male and female if they are going to rule in Title IX cases or Title VII cases or if they’re going to make a determination on the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act.

So, yes, indeed, it is an incredibly relevant point to make, and whether you’re talking about Critical Race Theory, parent’s rights, education in the schools, what of our Department of Education is focused on, what is happening with Title IX/with women’s sports, all of that depends on accepting the definition of “This is female and this is male.”

CLAY: Senator Blackburn, you weren’t in the 2018 Brett Kavanaugh hearing, but it did go a long way, I think, towards guaranteeing that you were there for 2022. I don’t know if you’ve seen this editorial yet but I just wanted to share it with you. I know you followed the Brett Kavanaugh hearings very closely. The Washington Post put out an editorial, and Buck and I will talk about this later on in the show. This is the editorial board, Senator Blackburn. This is not one person.

They said, “Republicans have boasted they have not pulled a Kavanaugh. In fact, they have treated Jackson worse.” That is from the Washington Post. There was another piece that said that Judge Jackson had been treated worse than Jackie Robinson had been treated. That was from USA Today. I read both of those, and it made my head almost want to explode. What’s your reaction to the it recently that Judge Jackson got, and the way that people are responding to that compared to what you saw with Kavanaugh?

SEN. BLACKBURN: What we know is that the leftist press is in bed with the Democrat Party and the White House in order to protect this nominee. Judge Jackson was treated with respect by each side of the dais. We were called out when we asked a tough question, whether it was about her sentencing practices, whether it was about her work as a private attorney or a federal defender. We ask those questions to get answers.

Because I have had a lot of Tennesseans contact me, and say, “I want to know this, that, or their other something,” and we are seeking to get those answers, because this is a lifetime appointment. It is the only time the American people have an opportunity to get to know this nominee, to see if they want their elected representatives to support the confirmation of this nominee. This is their one shot. So asking these questions are important. I asked her about her judicial philosophy and her court packing.

Because when she was up for the appellate court, I had asked her about her judicial philosophy and court packing and she never gave me a response. So I revisited those issues with her. What we have is a nominee that they don’t want you to ask any questions because she is from the progressive wing of the Democrat Party, and she is firmly embedded in that wing of the party, and because of that, they don’t want you to bring up these issues that if she answered you, it would be an answer that is outside of the mainstream of American thought.

CLAY: Senator Blackburn, do you think…? This is the last question for you and we appreciate your time.


CLAY: Do you think any Republicans are going to vote for Judge Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court?

SEN. BLACKBURN: I think it would be very difficult for people to vote for this nomination.

BUCK: Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate it.

SEN. BLACKBURN: Thank you.

BUCK: And thanks for… (chuckles) Thanks for the viral question too. We appreciate it.

CLAY: That was fantastic.

BUCK: Yeah.