EXCLUSIVE: Republican senators are calling President Joe Biden’s Colorado U.S. Supreme Court nominee “unqualified” for the job after jurist Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., questioned him during his confirmation hearing last week.
Kato Crews, the magistrate judge, did not answer Kennedy’s question about how to “analyze” a Brady motion, and was unable to “define what a Brady motion is” when asked to do so. A Brady motion is a legal process in which a criminal defendant can compel the prosecution to provide any evidence that could prove the former’s innocence.
A federal law passed in 2020, and Dick Durbin, D-Ill. Sponsored by the Senate Judiciary Chairman, it requires all federal judges to confirm that prosecutors are required to turn over all exculpatory evidence to the defense. Brady v. It is named after the landmark Maryland Supreme Court case that held that withholding evidence that could prove someone is innocent is a violation of one’s due process rights.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said of Crews’ inability to answer the question: “Competence and merit are low on Joe Biden’s list of priorities. The only requirement that matters is political loyalty. The party line.”
SEN. KENNEDY’S QUESTION ON DUE PROCEDURE BEFORE THE SENATE JUDICIAL WAYS COMMITTEE
Left: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Candidate Kato Crews. Right: Sen. John Kennedy, R-La. (Nathan Howard/Bloomberg/Mandel Ngan/AFP/Bloomberg)
His colleague on the panel, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, accused the Biden administration of being willing to “sacrifice” knowledge of the law to advance its policies.
“I would be hard-pressed to hire a secretary who couldn’t answer Senator Kennedy’s questions,” Lee told Fox News Digital. “But this administration is willing to sacrifice an understanding of the basic principles of the law and a basic understanding of the Constitution in exchange for the identity politics they’ve woken up to.”
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Florida, told Fox News Digital that Biden’s nominees should be treated the same as any other job applicant when being considered for a role.
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Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) attends a meeting with Senate Republicans at the U.S. Capitol on November 16, 2022 in Washington. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
“This is yet another example of the Biden administration advancing a qualified candidate who is unable to answer even basic questions about basic legal concepts,” Scott said.
He added, “In any other job, a candidate who fails to answer this simple question would be immediately rejected. Why should Congress operate any differently?”
During Crews’ confirmation hearing Wednesday, Kennedy asked him how he would consider a Brady motion.
THE INTERNET IS SHOCKED BY THE GROWTH OF JUDICIAL WAYS THAT DO NOT ANSWER A QUESTION ABOUT JUDICIAL PROCEDURE
UNITED STATES – JULY 20: U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, speaks during a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, July 20, 2021, to announce legislation that the president will consult with congressional leaders and seek prior authorization from Congress. exercise certain national security powers. ((Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images))
“Senator, in my four and a half years on the bench, I don’t think I’ve had the opportunity to address a Brady motion in my career,” the judge said.
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Asked what Brady’s motion is, Crews replied, “In my time on the bench, I haven’t had a chance to deal with it, so I can’t think of what Brady’s motion is.” He later added that he thought it was “something about the Second Amendment.”
Kennedy has been known to ask judicial candidates direct questions of the process beforehand. In January, Spokane County Superior Court Judge Charnelle Bjelkengren told Kennedy that “Article V never crossed his mind” after he asked what that article does in the US Constitution.
Elizabeth Elkind is a political reporter for Fox News Digital.