WASHINGTON (TND) — Critics are arguing one of President Joe Biden's latest judicial nominations prioritizes diversity over experience after she failed to answer basic questions about the Constitution posed to her during a confirmation hearing.
Judge Charnelle Bjelkengren, a trial judge for Spokane Superior Court in Washington, was stumped by a GOP lawmaker last month when she was asked straightforward questions regarding what the Constitution says.
Tell me what Article V of the Constitution does,” Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy asked Bjelkengren.
Article V is not coming to mind at the moment," Bjelkengren responded.
How about Article II?" Kennedy shot back.
Neither is Article II," Bjelkengren replied.
Kennedy then asked the judicial nominee, who Biden put up for a federal judgeship in Washington state, if she knew what the legal term "purposivism" was.
The term refers to an approach to interpreting the law. It contrasts with textualism and maintains statutes should enforce the spirit rather than the letter of the law.
In response, Bjelkengren told Sen. Kennedy:
In my 12 years as an assistant attorney general, in my nine years serving as a judge, I was not faced with that precise question," she responded. "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."
Other nominees at the hearing were able to answer separate questions posed by Kennedy regarding legal interpretation.
But Bjelkengren, following her snafu on Capitol Hill, began attracting attention as a less-than-qualified nominee.
This is what happens when diversity and so-called equity are prioritized over experience and qualifications," the founder and president of the Article III Project Mike Davis told Fox News.
Charnelle Bjelkengren has no business filling a lifetime seat on the federal bench. She wasn't able to answer basic questions about the Constitution that any first-year law student should know," he added. "That should be immediately disqualifying."
The National Desk (TND) reached out to an assistant for Bjelkengren to obtain comment on the criticisms but has not received a response. If one is received this story will be updated.