(FreedomWire.org) – Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) stumped a Biden judicial nominee by asking her what it said in certain parts of the U.S. Constitution since she is being considered for a federal position.
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. During her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Bjelkengren could not answer Kennedy’s questions about what different parts of the U.S. Constitution do and how courts might interpret laws.
Each of the three questions Kennedy posed, Judge Charnelle Bjelkengren did not have an answer.
“Judge, tell me what Article V of the Constitution does?” Kennedy asked.
“Article V is not coming to mind at the moment,” Bjelkengren replied after a long pause.
“How about Article II?” Kennedy followed up.
“Neither is Article II,” said Bjelkengren.
Article V of the Constitution concerns the amendments process, and Article II invests the executive power in the president of the United States, enumerating the powers of the executive branch.
Next, Kennedy asked if Bjelkengren knew what “purposivism” is, but she was again unable to give an answer. Purposivism, or the purposive approach, is a philosophy of interpreting the law that emphasizes the law’s purpose — advocating for judges to enforce the spirit of the law when it contradicts with the text of the law, according to Harvard Law professor John F. Manning, writing in the Columbia Law Review. In contrast, textualists argue that judges must strictly adhere to the law’s enacted text, when it is clear.
Bjelkengren said in her many years of experience in the judicial system in Washington state, she never had to deal with the legal concept of purposivism.
Kennedy did not seem impressed. “Well, you’re going to be faced with it if you’re confirmed, I can assure you of that,” he said.
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.