Biden Nominee Drops Out After Public Humiliation

A Washington state court judge and a Rochester, New York federal law clerk who had been nominated to the federal trial court by President Biden have both withdrawn their names from consideration, NBC News reported.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Charnelle Bjelkengren and law clerk Colleen Holland of Rochester were two of five judicial nominees whose nominations expired at the end of last year but were not among the 18 names the White House resubmitted to the Senate on Monday, January 8 for further consideration.

While three of the five could still be resubmitted at a later date, both Bjelkengren and Holland confirmed in separate emails to Reuters that they asked that the White House not resubmit their names to the Senate.

President Biden nominated Bjelkengren for the Eastern District of Washington. Following a January 2023 confirmation hearing in which she was unable to answer basic questions about the Constitution posed by Senate Judiciary Committee Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), Republicans came out against her nomination, putting her confirmation at risk.

Bjelkengren told Reuters that she asked the president not to resubmit her nomination “due to the uncertainty of my confirmation.” She said she hoped for a “swift confirmation” of the new nominee for the Eastern District of Washington.

Colleen Holland was recommended by New York’s two Democrat Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand to fill a vacancy on the US District Court for the Western District of New York. Holland was serving as a law clerk for a federal judge in Rochester at the time of her nomination at the age of 39, making her one of President Biden’s youngest nominees to the federal bench.

Holland told Reuters that she decided to withdraw her name “after careful consideration.”

In a statement on January 9, a spokesperson for Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the senator respected Holland’s decision to withdraw and would “move expeditiously” to work with President Biden to find a new nominee “for this important judicial position.”