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A Note Regarding the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Upcoming Markup

May 3, 2023

Tomorrow morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee will be holding an executive business meeting with an agenda that includes four particularly troubling judicial nominees:

  • Michael Delaney (First Circuit) pushed to publicly name an underage female victim of sexual assault while representing a prep school in Concord, New Hampshire, and was evasive about it in his hearing. I previously discussed his nomination here.
  • Charnelle Bjelkengren (Eastern District of Washington) could not identify either Article V or Article II of the Constitution when asked about them during her hearing.
  • Kato Crews (District of Colorado) could not identify a Brady motion during his hearing.
  • Marian Gaston (Southern District of California) co-authored a paper arguing for the repeal of laws that limit where sex offenders may live and, during her hearing, would not answer when asked her position on the registration of sex offenders.

Nominees appearing on the agenda are routinely held over once, a prerogative of all committee members under committee rules, and receive a vote during the following business meeting. All four of the above nominees have been held over more than once, likely reflecting that Chairman Richard Durbin has had doubts that a majority of the committee would report them favorably to the full Senate. I cannot predict what will happen tomorrow. I can only express my hope that, however much Democratic members decide they will continue to act as rubber stamps for this administration’s judicial nominees, Republican members will unite in opposition to the advancement of these unworthy nominees before they receive lifetime appointments to the bench.

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