U.S. Sen. John Kennedy successfully stumped President Joe Biden’s latest judicial nominee during a confirmation hearing Wednesday.
What made the stumping absolutely extraordinary is that it involved simple questions based on what’s in the U.S. Constitution.
And yet U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington judicial nominee Charnelle Marie Bjelkengren, who could wind up becoming the first black woman to ever be confirmed to the court, had no clue.
This is STUNNING. @SenJohnKennedy absolutely stumps Biden judicial nominee with basic questions about Constitution.
“Judge, tell me what Article 5 of the Constitution does.”
DC is not sending their best. pic.twitter.com/zaQoG7DJzr
— Young Americans for Liberty (@YALiberty) January 26, 2023
“Tell me what Article V of the Constitution does,” the senator pithily asked of Bjelkengren.
“Article V is not coming to mind at the moment,” she replied.
“OK, how about Article II?” the senator then pressed.
“Neither is Article II,” the nominee replied.
“OK, do you know what purposivism is?” Kennedy then tried one last time.
This time Bjelkengren at least offered a full response, albeit one not related to the specific question at hand.
“In my 12 years as an Assistant Attorney General and my nine years serving as a judge, I was not faced with that precise question. We are the highest trial court in Washington State, so I’m frequently faced with issues that I’m not familiar with, and I thoroughly review the law, our research, and apply the law to the facts presented to me,” she said.
The clip ended with Kennedy reminding her that she’s going to need to better know the U.S. Constitution “if you’re confirmed — I can assure you of that.”
Critics say Bjelkengren should have performed much better under questioning, particularly given her education and experience.
“Charnelle Marie Bjelkengren has served as a judge on the Washington State Superior Court since 2019. Judge Bjelkengren previously served as an administrative law judge for Washington State’s Office of Administrative Hearings from 2013 to 2019,” a biography submitted by the White House reads.
“From 2001 to 2003 and from 2004 to 2013, she served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. Judge Bjelkengren received her J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law in 2000 and her B.A. from Mankato State University (now Minnesota State University), cum laude, in 1997,” it adds.
See some of the criticism below:
Wow! That’s like asking a programmer if they know how to reboot a Windows PC and they say they call the help desk to reboot
— Yellahamma (yella/hammer) (@eufaula92) January 26, 2023
Oh FFS! That’s embarrassing, for her and my home state of WA. Not surprising though, Washington politics has suffered mightily under one party rule. What a disgrace.
— Freedom Over Fear! (@RebelliousHawk) January 26, 2023
The Dems are scraping the very bottom of the barrel just to get the correct color, gender & sexuality inserted in these jobs. Forget about finding the best person for the job. Society is crumbling.
— Real_American (@_American4Life_) January 26, 2023
Imagine she were applying for a job as a mechanic.
Kennedy didn’t ask her what the differential fluid capacity of a 2009 Chevy Silverado is.
He asked her, “What does a car’s transmission do?”
— Matthew Beck (@Matthew_Beck_1) January 26, 2023
This is foundational knowledge for the position. It’s not as if he’s asking obscure questions, but Leftist activist judges can’t seem to answer, even the most, basic questions about reality – which, happens to be the realm in which their service is expected.
— Mat Marcum (@MatMarcum) January 26, 2023
Notice what one critic wrote: “The Dems are scraping the very bottom of the barrel just to get the correct color, gender & sexuality inserted in these jobs. Forget about finding the best person for the job. Society is crumbling.”
They were right in more ways than just one.
The Biden administration originally announced Bjelkengren’s nomination, along with the nominations of seven others, in a September brief.
What’s notable about the brief is that it’s focused almost entirely on identity, in that the brief goes out of its way to point out that, if confirmed, the nominees would be the “first woman of color to serve” or “first south Asian judge to serve,” etc.
Another critic, meanwhile, noted how “Leftist activist judges can’t seem to answer even the most basic questions about reality.”
This brings to mind Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings.
“Can you provide a definition of the word woman?” Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Republican, asked her during the hearings.
“No, I can’t,” Jackson replied.
“You can’t?” Blackburn asked incredulously.
“I’m not a biologist,” the then-Supreme Court nominee replied.
SEN. BLACKBURN: “Can you provide a definition of the word ‘woman’?”
JACKSON: “No, I can’t”
BLACKBURN: “You can’t?”
JACKSON: “I’m not a biologist” pic.twitter.com/i7Rg83z5Y4
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 23, 2022
But it shouldn’t take a biology degree to recognize that a woman is an adult female, plain and simple. Likewise, a judicial nominee should know the ins and outs of the U.S. Constitution …
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