During a nomination hearing on Wednesday, Sara E. Hill, a nominee for a district judgeship in Oklahoma, struggled to define basic terms regarding court orders. Hill, who has been nominated by President Biden to be the district judge for the Northern District of Oklahoma, faced tough questioning from Senator John Kennedy, R-La., on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The hearing, which focused on Hill’s qualifications and knowledge of the law, quickly turned into a series of rapid-fire questions from Kennedy about basic legal and Constitutional terms and definitions. This practice has become usual for Kennedy in recent months as several nominees have struggled to pass his tests.
One of the terms Kennedy asked Hill to define was the difference between a “stay” order and an “injunction” order. These two types of court orders are commonly issued by federal courts, making it essential for a federal judge to understand their distinctions. However, Hill stumbled through her answers, struggling to provide an accurate definition.
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) asks the difference between two legal terms but Biden’s judicial nominee doesn’t know.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) November 15, 2023
According to Hill, a stay order would prohibit parties from taking action, while an injunction would restrain them from doing so. But when pressed further by Kennedy, she admitted that she could not provide a clear definition of a stay order.
The exchange caught the attention of Carrie Severino, a constitutional lawyer and president of the Judicial Crisis Network, who took to social media to comment on Hill’s lack of knowledge. “How can an individual who wants to be a federal judge possibly not know this?” she wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
Severino also noted that stays and injunctions are routine matters that come before district judges, making it even more surprising that Hill was unable to explain the difference between the two concepts. “This is not a trick question,” she added.
At the end of Kennedy’s line of questioning, committee chair Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., congratulated Hill for “passing the Kennedy bar exam.” This comment raised concerns about the low standards set for nominees, as if passing a basic knowledge test was an achievement.
🆘My Friends &Fellow Americans.Biden @POTUS continues his nominations based more on Equity than knowledge.Sen KENNEDY stumped Nominee SARA E HILL citizen of Cherokee Nation &USA.He Asked basic questions SHE COULD NOT ANSWER.What is “INJUNCTION”&STAY”🤦♀️✅🇺🇸 https://t.co/g5sFjzsDSl
— Glenn Roth (@groth1945) November 15, 2023
Hill’s struggles during the nomination hearing have raised doubts about her qualifications for the position. As a district judge, she would be responsible for presiding over a wide range of cases, making a clear understanding of court orders and legal terms crucial. The American people deserve judges who have a thorough understanding of the law and can confidently make decisions that uphold justice.
In conclusion, Sara E. Hill, a nominee for a district judgeship in Oklahoma, faced tough questioning from Senator John Kennedy during her nomination hearing. Her difficulties in defining basic legal and Constitutional terms, such as stays and injunctions, have raised concerns about her qualifications for the position. It remains to be seen if Hill will be confirmed for the district judge position, but it is clear that a thorough understanding of the law should be a top priority for any nominee seeking a role in the federal judiciary.