Supreme Court nominee mistakenly refers to U.S. territory as foreign ‘country’

Supreme Court nominee mistakenly refers to U.S. territory as foreign ‘country’

“When speaking about” the U.S. territory of Guam, Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown “Jackson twice referred to Guam as a ‘country,’ instead of a U.S. territory,” notes the Guam Daily Post. “Guam has been a part of America since 1899, and people born on Guam become U.S. citizens. This has been the case since 1950.”

Jackson’s mistake about Guam occurred in her March 23 comments about a lawsuit she handled as a trial judge. That case was brought by the territory of Guam over environmental contamination. It sued the U.S. Navy for $160 million.

In her confirmation hearings, Jackson has had trouble with some very elementary facts. CNS News reported on Jackson’s inability on March 22 to define the word “woman”:

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that she could not define the word “woman.”

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Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) asked Jackson, “Can you provide a definition for the word woman?”

“Can I provide a definition? No.” Jackson said. “I can’t,” Jackson said.

“You can’t?” Blackburn asked in surprise.

“Not in this context,” Jackson said, half-laughing. “I’m not a biologist.”

Blackburn followed up, telling Jackson, “So you believe the meaning of the word ‘woman’ is so unclear and controversial that you can’t give me a definition?”

Jackson responded, “Senator, in my work as a judge, what I do is I address disputes. If there is a dispute about a definition, people make arguments, and I look at the law, and I decide. So I’m not—”

Blackburn interrupted: “So, the fact that you can’t give me a straight answer about something as fundamental as what a woman is underscores the dangers of the kind of progressive education that we are hearing about.

“Just last week,” Blackburn continued, “an entire generation of young girls watched as our taxpayer-funded institutions permitted a biological man to compete and beat a biological woman in the NCAA swimming championships. What message do you think this sends to girls who aspire to compete and win in sports at the highest levels?” Blackburn asked.

“Senator, I’m not sure what message that sends. If you’re asking me about the legal issues related to it, those are topics that are being hotly discussed, as you say, and could come to the court. So I’m unable to–”


[For the record, the traditional textbook definition of ‘woman’ is a human being with two X chromosomes, an immutable characteristic that is beyond the scalpel’s reach.]

Federal laws use the words “woman” or “women,” so a judge needs to be able to define the term “woman” to properly interpret statutes. It is a judge’s job to interpret the laws.

Jackson is not the only government official to display ignorance about Guam. In 2010, Congressman Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) worried that Guam would tip over if the military expanded its presence there, even though Guam is a substantial territory of 212 square miles that reaches over 1,000 above sea level, and is not a floating island. “My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize,” Johnson said. Given Guam’s size and firm connections to the ocean bottom, it will not tip over or capsize, even if the military presence there expands, as Admiral Robert Willard, head of the U.S. Pacific fleet, pointed out at the time.

LU Staff

LU Staff

Promoting and defending liberty, as defined by the nation’s founders, requires both facts and philosophical thought, transcending all elements of our culture, from partisan politics to social issues, the workings of government, and entertainment and off-duty interests. Liberty Unyielding is committed to bringing together voices that will fuel the flame of liberty, with a dialogue that is lively and informative.


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