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(LifeSiteNews) – As D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson takes heat from conservatives for claiming she was unable to define “woman,” USA Today “wellness reporter” Alia Dastagir is stepping in to claim “science” backs up the jurist’s evasiveness.

Asked by Republican U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee on Tuesday if she could “provide a definition for the word woman,” Jackson claimed “I can’t” in “this context,” because “I’m not a biologist.” Blackburn replied that “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.”

Jackson’s response was met with widespread derision among her conservative critics, with many concluding she was unwilling or unable to dissent from the transgender orthodoxy to which the Democrat Party is currently devoted. But on Thursday USA Today published a column in which Dastagir attempts to defend Jackson’s non-answer on the merits.

“Scientists, gender law scholars and philosophers of biology said Jackson’s response was commendable, though perhaps misleading,” Dastagir wrote. “It’s useful, they say, that Jackson suggested science could help answer Blackburn’s question, but they note that a competent biologist would not be able to offer a definitive answer either. Scientists agree there is no sufficient way to clearly define what makes someone a woman, and with billions of women on the planet, there is much variation.”

The writer quotes three academics for support of her position, though only two of them, Rebecca Jordan-Young of Barnard College and Sarah Richardson of Harvard University, are implied to have a scientific background. Further, Richardson’s curriculum vitae reveals she has no actual degrees in the hard sciences. (The third “expert,” Juliet Williams of UCLA, is described merely as a “professor of gender studies”; Jordan-Young’s Ph.D. is in “Sociomedical Sciences.”)

“I don’t want to see this question punted to biology as if science can offer a simple, definitive answer,” Jordan-Young said. “The rest of her answer was more interesting and important. She said ‘as a judge, what I do is I address disputes. If there’s a dispute about a definition, people make arguments, and I look at the law, and I decide.’ In other words, she said context matters – which is true in both biology and society. I think that’s a pretty good answer for a judge.”

“There isn’t one single ‘biological’ answer to the definition of a woman. There’s not even a singular biological answer to the question of ‘what is a female,'” Jordan-Young said.

In fact, the term “woman” refers to the female of the human species, the half of humanity endowed with the ability to carry and bear children. According to modern biology, sex is rooted in an individual’s chromosomes and reflected by hundreds of genetic characteristics, on top of the widely-understood anatomical differences women and men. This was considered non-controversial up until the last few years, when LGBT activists began to aggressively push transgender ideology.

Nominated by President Joe Biden to replace the retiring Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court based in large part on her race and sex, after the urging of a coalition of “progressive” groups including MoveOn and Demand Justice, Jackson has also drawn scrutiny for her light sentencing in child pornography cases and claim that she cannot answer when human life begins.

Left-wing activists clamored for the 83-year-old Breyer’s retirement for months so Biden could replace him with a younger like-minded jurist and prevent the possibility of a future Republican president using his vacancy to move the Court rightward. Jackson’s likely confirmation will not move the Court in a more left-wing direction, but will ensure that the seat remains filled by a liberal for potentially decades to come.

Jackson’s eventual confirmation is a foregone conclusion in the Democrat-controlled Senate; the only question remaining as to the outcome is whether a handful of moderate Republicans will join them, giving Biden and his allies the ability to claim her approval was “bipartisan.”