Saturday, March 25, 2023
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Biden Judicial Nominee Flubs Basic Questions about Constitution

'Article V is not coming to mind at the moment... '

(Headline USA) A Biden judicial nominee was unable to recall basic facts about the U.S. Constitution and how it works during a Senate hearing on Wednesday.

Judge Charnelle Bjelkengren was nominated by President Joe Biden to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington. During her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., asked Bjelkengren a number of basic questions about the Constitution and how courts might interpret laws.

In one question, Kennedy asked Bjelkengren to explain what Article V of the Constitution does.

“Article V is not coming to mind at the moment,” she replied.

“How about Article II?” Kennedy asked.

Bjelkengren said she was also unable to say what Article II does.

Article V of the Constitution lays out the process by which amendments can be added to the document, and Article II invests the executive power in the president of the United States and explains what powers belong to the executive branch.

Kennedy then asked Bjelkengren if she knew what “purposivism” is, referring to the progressive judicial philosophy that holds the Constitution as a “living document.”

Bjelkengren replied: “In my 12 years as an assistant attorney general, in my nine years as a judge, I was not faced with that precise question,” she said. “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, I research, and apply the law to the facts presented to me.” 

Kennedy wasn’t impressed. “Well, you’re going to be faced with it if you’re confirmed, I can assure you of that,” he said.

The White House defended its nomination of Bjelkengren in a statement on Thursday, saying the president “proudly” sticks by her.

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