Video of Ted Cruz Asking 'Can I Be Asian?' to Jackson Viewed 3M Times

The bizarre moment Sen. Tez Cruz asked Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson if he could be an Asian man during the third day of her confirmation hearing on Wednesday has gone viral, with more than 3.24 million views as of Thursday morning.

Jackson was put forward by U.S. President Joe Biden for the position on February 25, making her the first Back female nominee for the court.

Cruz has been pressing the D.C. judge on critical race theory and how it originated at their shared alma mater Harvard Law School. The theory is the academic framework that racism has existed in many structures and systems throughout American history, including in the justice and political system. However, Republican lawmakers have sought to give the term a broader meaning, applying it to any education that involves teaching about race and intersectionality.

Cruz also challenged Jackson to define what a woman is, bringing up issues of trans rights.

In a video of the hearing shared widely on social media, Cruz asks Jackson: "Under the modern leftist sensibilities, if I decide right now that I'm a woman and apparently I'm a woman, does that mean that I would have article 3 standing to challenge a gender-based restriction?"

Jackson says that those kinds of issues are going through the court and that she could not comment on them.

Cruz continues: "If I can change my gender, if I can be a woman and an hour later decide I'm not a woman anymore I guess I would lose article 3 standing? Tell me whether that same law applies to other protected characteristics?"

"For example, I'm a Hispanic man, could I decide if I was an Asian man. Would I have the ability to be an Asian man and challenge Harvard's discrimination because I made that decision?"

Newsweek has contacted Cruz for further comment.

Jackson responded to Cruz's question by saying she couldn't comment on hypotheticals.

Cruz was speaking about a lawsuit pending before the Supreme Court alleging that Harvard and the University of North Carolina's affirmative action policies violate the rights of Asian-Americans. The court has repeatedly upheld such programs, but its new right-wing supermajority is likely to view them with skepticism.

The hearings are set to conclude on Thursday, after testimony from outside witnesses. The committee will then vote on the nomination, which is expected to be approved. After that, the vote will move onto the Senate. Democrats hold a wafer-thin 50-50 majority there, as Kamala Harris is able to cast a tie-breaking vote.

Ted Cruz confirmation
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) questions U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson during her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, March 23, 2022 in Washington, DC. Cruz asked Jackson a bizarre question on the third day of her confirmation hearing on Wednesday. Drew Angerer/Getty