After being stumped by Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., during his confirmation hearing last week, President Joe Biden’s nominee for the United States District Court of Colorado has been called unqualified for the position by Republican senators.
Magistrate Judge Kato Crews could not respond to Kennedy’s question about analyzing a Brady motion and could not define the term when directly questioned.
By filing a ‘Brady motion,’ a criminal defendant can request that the prosecution turn over any material that could help show the defendant’s innocence.
In 2020, Congress approved a rule with the support of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, mandating that all federal courts confirm that prosecutors must turn over any potentially exculpatory evidence to the defense. It takes its name from the seminal Supreme Court decision Brady v. Maryland, which ruled that preventing the disclosure of information that could prove someone’s innocence violates their right to a fair trial.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., a Senate Judiciary Committee member, said that Crews’ inability to answer the question shows that skill and merit are low on Joe Biden’s priority list. The only requirement that matters is political loyalty to the party line.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), another panel member, said the Biden administration is willing to put politics ahead of legal expertise.
Lee was quoted as saying he would have difficulty hiring a law clerk who couldn’t handle Senator Kennedy’s queries. But, the Biden administration is willing to put woke identity politics ahead of a basic understanding of the law and the Constitution.
Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott told the media that Biden’s nominees should be treated like any other job applicant when considered for a role.
According to Scott, this is just another instance of the Biden administration putting out an incompetent candidate who doesn’t understand the most fundamental aspects of the law.
He added that in any other job, a candidate failing to answer this simple question would be immediately disqualified; Congress shouldn’t operate any differently.
On Wednesday, Kennedy questioned Crews during his confirmation hearing about how he would evaluate a Brady move.
The judge responded to the senator saying in his four and a half years on the bench, he doesn’t believe he’s had the occasion to address a Brady motion in his career.
Crews said he has never been asked to define a Brady motion during his tenure on the bench, so the term doesn’t immediately come to mind. Crews elaborated that he had a hunch it had to do with the Second Amendment.
Kennedy has been known to confound judicial nominees with basic procedure queries before. In January, when Judge Charnelle Bjelkengren of Spokane County Superior Court was asked what Article V does in the U.S. Constitution, he told Kennedy she couldn’t remember.