The Biden administration has made a number of questionable appointments to federal courts, appeals courts, and the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson came under fire for her views on criminal justice reform and light sentencing for repeat offenders and people who committed sexual crimes.
Ketanji Brown Jackson also said in her confirmation hearing last year that she could not define what a woman is because she is not a “biologist”.
Another Biden nominee who was nominated to be on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals was later found to on the board of a Prison Abolition group.
This week, another situation arose with one of Biden’s judicial nominees Judge Charnelle Bjelkengren, who he nominated to serve in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.
When Biden nominated Washington State Judge Charnelle Bjelkengren to the federal bench last September, the White House touted her diversity and boasted that she and the other nominees were “extraordinarily qualified, experienced, and devoted to the rule of law and our Constitution.” (Note, the nomination was resubmitted on Monday for the current Senate term.)
When Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) asked Bjelkengren basic questions about the U.S constitution, she was unable to answer them. Kennedy asked her what Article II and Article V of the U.S constitution do, and she was unable to come up with answers.
The President is announcing the nominations of eight new federal judicial nominees and his intent to nominate nine federal judicial nominees —all of whom are extraordinarily qualified, experienced, and devoted to the rule of law and our Constitution.
These choices also continue to fulfill the President’s promise to ensure that the nation’s courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country—both in terms of personal and professional backgrounds.
For example, if confirmed, this slate would include:
The first women of color to serve on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington and the first Black women to serve on a United States District Court in the state of Washington
The first South Asian judge to serve on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
The second Hispanic man to serve on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
The only LGBT Article III judge actively serving on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California
Biden’s latest embarrassing nominee could not answer simple questions that go to the heart of being a federal judge, posed to her by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday.
Kennedy asked Bjelkengren what Articles II and V of the nation’s primary legal document do, which Biden’s nominee was unable to answer.
Article II of the Constitution vests and enumerates the powers of the Executive Branch while Article V establishes the process for constitutional amendments.
Kennedy, “Judge, on the far end, tell me what Article V of the Constitution does?”
Bjelkengren, “Article V is not coming to mind at the moment.”
Kennedy, “Okay. How about Article II?”
Bjelkengren, “Neither is Article II.”
Kennedy, “Do you know what purposivism is?”
Bjelkengren, “In my twelve years as an assistant attorney general, in my nine years 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, I research, and apply the law to the facts presented to me.”
Kennedy, “Well, you’re going to be faced with it if you’re confirmed, I can assure you of that.”
Kennedy (a few minutes later): “Judge on the far end, can you tell me what the independent state legislature theory is? I’m just asking you not what your opinion of it, what is it–it’s before the Supreme Court now.”
Bjelkengren, “In my twelve years as an assistant attorney general, and…”
Kennedy, “Right (heavy sigh).”
Bjelkengren, “That doctrine was never presented to me.”
Watch Judge Charnelle Bjelkengren fail to answer the basic questions about The Constitution:
Watch the full Senate Judiciary Committe hearing:
Fox News reported (excerpt):
Judge Charnelle Bjelkengren, of Spokane County Superior Court in Washington State, was nominated by President Biden to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.
Bjelkengren is a graduate of Mankato State University and received her law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law in 2000. She previously served as an assistant attorney general for the Washington Attorney General’s Office.
In 2013, Bjelkengren became an administrative judge for the Office of Administrative Hearings in Washington State.
In 2019, Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Bjelkengren to the Spokane County Superior Court, and she became the first female African American judge in Eastern Washington.