A Biden nominee for a district judgeship in Oklahoma appeared confused when trying to define basic legal terms for orders during her nomination hearing on Wednesday.
Sara E. Hill, who is nominated to be the district judge for the Northern District of Oklahoma, faced a grilling from Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., on the Senate Judiciary Committee about basic legal and Constitutional terms and definitions.
Kennedy has made the practice a routine in recent months after several nominees have struggled to pass his tests.
Kennedy asked Hill the difference between a “stay” order and an “injunction” order, two orders frequently issued by federal courts.
However, Hill struggled to answer.
“A stay order would prohibit, um, sorry,” Hill began.
“An injunction would restrain the parties from taking action,” she continued.
“A stay order … I’m not sure I can, actually can, can give you that,” she said.
An injunction is an order from the court that prohibits a party from performing or ordering a specified act, either temporarily or permanently, often referred to as a temporary restraining order.
A stay order is issued to stop the case’s legal proceedings in court.
Constitutional lawyer and president of the Judicial Crisis Network, Carrie Severino, commented on the exchange on X:
“How can an individual who wants to be a federal judge possibly not know this?”
“Stays and injunctions come before district judges all of the time. This is not a trick question,” she added.
Severino noted that committee Chair Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., “even congratulated Hill afterward for ‘passing the Kennedy bar exam’ – talk about grading on a curve!”
In March, Kennedy grilled a previous judicial nominee with basic questions on the U.S. Constitution, legal procedure, and Supreme Court precedents.
However, Judicial nominee S. Kato Crews failed to explain how to analyze a Brady motion and confused it with the Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland with the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, the Daily Caller noted.
The senator also left another nominee red-faced after asking how spending $50 trillion would reduce global temperatures.