“Goodness gracious,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said before being rushed to the hospital, not because of this though it surely didn’t help, “Is this the caliber of legal expert with which President Biden is filling the federal bench for lifetime appointments? Is the bar for merit and excellence really set this low?”
Why yes, Mitch! It is the caliber, because skill, experience, and demonstrated qualifications are no more the Biden administrations priorities in naming federal judges than they were in Joe’s choice of Vice-President, Cabinet members or White House press secretary. Already, we have seen absurd spectacles like Judge Charnelle Bjelkengren, nominated to serve as a U.S. District Court Judge in the Eastern District of Washington, and according to shameless partisan hack Sen. Patty Murray, very qualified for the job and “truly exceptional,” proving unable to explain under questioning the contents of the fifth or second articles of the Constitution—you know, that old thingy that district judges are supposed to know and understand?
Lucky for her, along comes another Biden nominee, U.S. Magistrate Judge S. Kato Crews, also nominated to be a U.S. district judge, to make sure Charnelle doesn’t feel too bad. During his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing this week, Crews (above, left) was asked by Senator Kennedy (above, right) who also was the one who stumped Bjelkengren, to describe a Brady motion and the landmark Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland.
Crews could not. He had no idea what either were, saying that as he recalled Brady was a Second Amendment case! KABOOM! He was getting the crucial landmark decision, a staple of first year law school criminal law, mixed up with the so-called Brady Law, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Pub.L. 103–159, 107 Stat. 1536, enacted November 30, 1993), which mandated federal background checks on firearm purchasers in the U.S.,and imposed a five-day waiting period on purchases. It has nothing to do with Brady v. Maryland.
At least he didn’t get Brady mixed up with “The Brady Bunch.”
That 1963 case, requiring the prosecution to turn over potentially exculpatory evidence to the defense, is one of the most frequently cited of all SCOTUS cases. (It’s even alluded to in “My Cousin Vinny.”) Brady material has been in the news several times in several contexts in just the past few months. It was mentioned in Ethics Alarms just this month.
It is astounding that someone could be a magistrate, never mind be nominated as a federal judge, who doesn’t know Brady backwards and forwards. It’s like not knowing Miranda. Or Brown. How could this happen?
It’s a rhetorical question. You know how. The guy is a progressive, a Democrat, and most important of all, black. That’s the sum total of what the Democrats in power think matters in appointing judges. They are determined to surpass former President Donald Trump’s total of 234 judges confirmed, and it apparently doesn’t matter if they resort to approving nominees wearing helmets so they don’t hurt themselves bumping into walls. Sen. Mazie Hirono, (D-Hawaii), a Judiciary Committee member who is only slightly above having to wear such a helmet herself, says, “We’ve been having hearings on judges in a very rapid pace, which is how I like it.” Sure she does. All the better to get reliable wokists on the bench who will rubber stamp unconstitutional decisions and laws “for the greater good” even if they have to be read to them.
As I wrote in the post about Charnelle Bjelkengren, this is more than evidence of incompetence, it shows unacceptable arrogance. Crews knew he was going to be vetted in a Senate hearing; he also knew, or should have, that Senator Kennedy is fond of asking nominees if they could pass basic law school courses, a not unreasonable test. Wouldn’t you think he would at least do a little bit of preparation? But because he’s assured of being confirmed by a Democratic Senate majority that cares not all about the quality of judges, only whether they’ll decide cases to the Left’s satisfaction, Crews, like Bjelkengren, didn’t bother. No Democrat would dare vote against a black judicial nominee no matter how unqualified he or she appeared to be. Diversity! Equity! Inclusion!
And the news media will never inform the public how outrageous and irresponsible it will be when these two “diversity” judges, and doubtless others, are elevated to the federal bench with the full-throated approval of Senators Hirono and Murray.
8 thoughts on “On Joe Biden’s Judicial Nominations: They’re Called “Diversity Nominees” And Some Of Them Couldn’t Judge A Dog Show”
He wants the federal judiciary to look like a sprinkler.
I’m not sure whose personnel decisions were worse, Trump’s or Biden’s.
At least in Trump’s case I don’t think he was willing to accept incompetence. He is a just a bad judge of character for obvious personal reasons.
I doubt Trump was involved in vetting judicial nominees. Which, for the reasons you point out, Chris, was a good thing. He’d have put Michael Cohen on the Supreme Court.
Sadly, not a joke.
I wouldn’t call this arrogance. I’d call it malice.
These nominees are selected for a specific reason, and that is they’ll issue rulings as they’re told. Competence is not only unnecessary, but not desirable because with competency may come a measure of independent thinking, and they’ll abide none of that.
Back when I was supervising a small squad of detectives, one of my regular tasks was to review investigators’ case files before they were presented to the DA’s office for prosecution. We always prepared a section in each case file to separately document obvious or potential Brady material so that prosecutors weren’t caught off guard. I helped investigators ensure that no Brady material was overlooked. So, a working knowledge of Brady doesn’t require a law degree, by any means.
My sister, who graduated from the University of Michigan law school, shocked me by revealing that Brady is not only not taught in any First year courses there, but also that Criminal Law isn’t required at all. She also noted that Judge Crews had stated on his paperwork that he had only practiced civil law, and as a magistrate, he had never presided over a criminal matter.
The question remains whether someone with such narrow experience should be nominated for a federal judge position, though, as my sister also points out, once confirmed all new federal judges have to attend special training.