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SCOTUS nominee says she has 'a religious view' about when life begins, but does not know when equal protection of the law starts to apply to a human being

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Jackson has previously said that she cannot define the word 'woman'

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who has been nominated by President Joe Biden to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, said Tuesday that she does not know when equal protection of the law begins to apply to a human being.

Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana asked Jackson when she believes that life starts.

"I don't know," Jackson said.

She noted that she has "a religious view" on the matter which she puts aside while making rulings.

Kennedy then asked Jackson, "when does equal protection of the laws attach ... to a human being?"

Jackson told the lawmaker, "I actually don't know the answer to that question. I'm sorry."

WATCH: Sen. John Kennedy questions Jackson in Supreme Court confirmation hearings youtu.be

The nominee raised eyebrows on Tuesday when she told GOP Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee that she could not supply a definition of the word "woman."

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas raised the issue again on Wednesday, asking Jackson, "as a judge, how would you determine if a plaintiff had Article III standing, ah, to challenge a gender-based rule, regulation, policy," absent the ability to determine what a woman is.

Jackson noted that she knows that she is a woman and that her mother and Sen. Blackburn are both women.

Cruz interrupted Jackson, asking whether he would possess Article III standing in order to "challenge a gender-based restriction" if he were to decide that he is a woman.

Jackson said that matters related to who can lodge suits based on gender are going through the court system and she cannot make a comment about them.

Biden nominated Jackson to fill the vacancy that will be created when Justice Stephen Breyer retires later this year.

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