Sara E. Hill, the Biden nominee for a district judgeship in Oklahoma, had a rough time during her nomination hearing on Wednesday. Sen. John Kennedy, known for his tough questioning, grilled Hill on basic legal terms and definitions. Unfortunately for Hill, she struggled to define the difference between a “stay” order and an “injunction” order, two terms commonly used in federal courts. While she managed to stumble through an answer about injunctions restraining parties from taking action, she admitted her uncertainty about stay orders.
This exchange raised eyebrows among legal experts, including Constitutional lawyer and president of the Judicial Crisis Network, Carrie Severino. Severino criticized Hill’s lack of knowledge, questioning how someone aspiring to be a federal judge could be so clueless about basic legal terms. Stays and injunctions are commonly encountered by district judges, making this a straightforward question, according to Severino.
Biden Judicial Nominee Unable to Define Basic Legal Terms at Nomination Hearing – WATCH https://t.co/cxeVxu1T1g
— 🇺🇸🇺🇸Josh Dunlap🇺🇲🇺🇲 ULTRA-MAGA (@JDunlap1974) November 16, 2023
To make matters worse, committee Chair Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat, congratulated Hill for “passing the Kennedy bar exam” after the hearing. Severino noted the irony of grading on a curve, suggesting that Hill’s performance was subpar despite the opposite sentiment from Durbin.
This incident recalled a similar questioning session in March, where Kennedy grilled another judicial nominee, S. Kato Crews, on fundamental aspects of the U.S. Constitution, legal procedure, and Supreme Court precedents. Crews struggled to analyze a Brady motion and confused it with the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, showing a lack of familiarity with important legal concepts.
Overall, Hill’s faltering response to basic legal questions raises concerns about her readiness to serve as a district judge. Her lack of understanding on essential legal terms is a worrying sign for conservatives who believe in a strong and knowledgeable judiciary.