Senator John Kennedy exposes what happens when political hacks are nominated to be a judge instead of great legal minds….or even mediocre legal minds. In this case it is like this nominee never went to law school.
Yours truly is a political researcher and a journalist and I knew the answers to these questions. There is no excuse for this. Charnelle Bjelkengren should not be confirmed by the Senate and after this performance anyone who votes for her is knowingly confirming someone grossly unqualified to sit on the bench.
While even most average citizens can tell you what Article II and Article V of the Constitution do, “Purposivism” is a legal interpretive theory that says alongside the text of a statute (or sometimes even ignoring it), the intended purpose of a statute in context should also be examined when interpreting/applying the law. This is related to what people say about how “the law” and “the law as applied” are too often very different things.
Judicial Nominee Brookman scored a 50% on his attempt to define “Originalism”. He leaves out, through ignorance, that Originalism looks at the history and the writings of the Founders, or whoever wrote said law in question, in order to determine their perspective as to a law’s interpretation and application. Purposivism and Originalism are among the basics of constitutional legal interpretation which is the bread and butter of a federal judge.
Nominee Merchant does a little better at answering the question and then Senator John Kennedy, rather brilliantly, starts playing rope-a-dope with the three nominees to test their confidence.
Lastly, Senator Kennedy asks about the “Independent state legislature theory” which basically means that Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution (AKA the Elections Clause) says what it means and means what it says – that the time, place and manner of voting is up to individual state legislatures with federal and state courts, governors, secretaries of state or boards of election having no say.
The issue is in front of the Supreme Court right now and none of them are aware of it. It is believed that the court will uphold the simple text of the Elections Clause 6-3.
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