President Joe Biden’s nominee for the Eastern District of Washington, Judge Charnelle Bjelkengren, has withdrawn her name from consideration after her nomination expired without confirmation. The Judge made this decision due to the uncertainty surrounding her confirmation, expressing a desire for the swift confirmation of the next nominee.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 11, 2024
Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana criticized Bjelkengren’s lack of knowledge about the U.S. Constitution, calling her withdrawal appropriate. According to Kennedy, it is unacceptable to appoint individuals who are ignorant of the law to lifetime positions in our courtrooms. He had questioned Bjelkengren during her confirmation hearing earlier in the year and was alarmed by her inability to answer basic constitutional questions.
Despite Bjelkengren’s lack of constitutional knowledge, the Senate Judiciary Committee had voted 11 to 10 to advance her nomination to the full Senate. However, it appears that she was never brought up for a vote. This raises concerns about the thoroughness of the nomination process and the decision-making of those involved.
In addition to Bjelkengren, four other Biden nominees expired at the end of the year without renomination. Colleen Holland of Rochester, New York, requested to be withdrawn for personal reasons. Senator Chuck Schumer accepted Holland’s request, stating that alternative nominees would be pursued. The remaining three nominees who expired were Scott Colom, the Mississippi DA who was blocked by a state senator, District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Todd Edelman, and San Diego Superior Court Judge Marian Gaston.
This series of expired nominations raises questions about the Biden administration’s attention to detail and vetting process. It is crucial to thoroughly evaluate nominees to ensure they possess the necessary qualifications for their roles. The impact of judicial appointments lasts for a lifetime, and we must prioritize competent and knowledgeable individuals who will uphold the law and protect our constitutional rights.