President Joe Biden sure can pick them. His nominee for a federal judgeship in Washington state flunked a basic constitution test from Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) during her confirmation hearing yesterday.
Biden has been confirming judges at a faster rate than even former President Donald Trump who moved to stack the bench with qualified constitutional conservatives. While Bidens, or at least this judge, can’t answer simple constitutional questions a first-year law student could.
Kennedy asked Spokane County Superior Court Judge Charnelle Bjelkengren, “Judge, tell me what Article V of the Constitution does.” She replied with a weird smirk, “Article 5 is not coming to mind at the moment.”
Kennedy said, “Ok, How ’bout Article II?”
“Neither is Article II,” Bjelkengren said. Kennedy could hardly believe his ears and was left scratching his head in frustration.
JUDICIARY: At yesterday's Senate Judiciary Cmte hearing, Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) asked Judge Charnelle Bjelkengren, Pres. Biden's nominee to be US District Judge for the Eastern District of Washington, what Articles 2 and 5 of the Constitution do, but she was unable to do so. pic.twitter.com/VqgQDsKmmg
— Forbes (@Forbes) January 26, 2023
Next, Kennedy then asked Bjelkengre to define “purposivism,” the method by which judges interpret statutes.
She drew a blank on that as well. She said:
“In my 12 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 shot back:
“Well, you’re going to be faced with it if you’re confirmed, I can assure you of that.”
Biden nominated her for U.S. District Judge last year with Democratic Washington Sen. Patty Murray’s recommendation.
“Not only has Judge Bjelkengren demonstrated her commitment to fairness and impartiality on the Spokane County Superior Court and, previously, as an administrative law judge—she also served Washington state as an Assistant Attorney General in Spokane, where she worked on issues from child care to higher education,” Murray said at the time.
“I look forward to seeing her continue to serve Eastern Washington as a judge on the District Court, and I’ll work hard to advance her nomination as quickly as possible to consideration by the full Senate.”
Article V lays out the process for ratifying amendments to the Constitution.
Article II outlines the method for electing the President, the scope of the President’s powers and duties, and the process of removing one from office.
MUST WATCH: @SenJohnKennedy Questions Biden Judicial Nominee
KENNEDY: "Tell me what Article V of the Constitution does."
BJELKENGREN: "Article V is not coming to mind."
KENNEDY: "How about Article II?"
BJELKENGREN: "Neither is Article II."
KENNEDY: "OKAY…" pic.twitter.com/B6I0zRfu9q
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 26, 2023