A Biden administration nominee to an important federal judicial post stunned the Senate Judiciary Committee in her confirmation hearing when she was unable to answer basic questions on the United States Constitution.
Spokane County Superior Court Judge Charnelle Bjelkengren, nominated by Biden to be a U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of Washington, was stumped when Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) asked.
“Tell me what Article V of the Constitution does,” Kennedy asked to begin his question, referring to the section of the Constitution that details the amendment process.
“Article V is not coming to mind at the moment,” Bjelkengren robotically replied.
“How about Article II?” Kennedy, of the constitutional article defining the powers of the president.
“Neither is Article II,” Bjelkengren replied in a flat monotone.
Bjelkengren replied that didn’t come to mind for her either.
She also admitted she was unfamiliar with basic legal concepts.
Do you know what purposivism is?,” Kennedy then asked, referring to the judicial belief that laws and statutes should be judged within the context of their stated purpose.
Bjelkengren was once again stumped. She claimed, still in a robotic monotone, that it was a concept she did not need to know as it did not pertain to her duties as a judge.
Kennedy reminded her it did.
“Well, you’re going to be faced with it as a — if you’re confirmed,” Kennedy responded. “I can assure you of that.”
Despite admitting she was unfamiliar with the Constitution and common legal concepts, Bjelkengren is expected to be confirmed with unanimous Democrat support.
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