Judicial Nominee Requests Withdrawal by White House

(ReliableNews.org) – At the end of 2023, the nominations of five people for judicial appointments expired. When President Joe Biden submitted 18 new nominees on January 8, two names weren’t on the list. The two women have confirmed that they do not want to be renominated.

Colleen Holland, a judicial clerk in Rochester, New York, was nominated last year to serve on the US District Court for the Western District of New York. The state’s two Democratic senators asked the administration to nominate her. She has worked at the district court for a decade by clerking for Chief Justice Elizabeth Wolford, the first woman to serve on the court when former President Barack Obama nominated her.

Holland spoke to Reuters about the decision to withdraw her name, saying she asked the White House to take her out of the running for personal reasons. A spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said the lawmaker respects Holland’s decision and wants the president to quickly “nominate a person for [the] important judicial position.”

The other nominee to withdraw her name was Spokane County Superior Court Judge Charnelle Bjelkengren. She was expected to serve the Eastern District of Washington. She received pushback from Republicans after she failed to answer a question about the Constitution.

During the questioning, Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) asked the judge to explain Article II of the Constitution. The article explains the powers of the president. She also failed to answer a question about Article V, which deals with the process of amending the Constitution. She said that she’d never been faced with that question but that when she doesn’t know the answer to something, she researches the question and applies the law.

Bjelkengren said she asked the president to nominate someone else because of the uncertainty surrounding her confirmation. She said she hopes the Senate confirms the next nominee quickly.

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