On Wednesday, Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) asked the Biden administration's judicial nominee, Kristen Clarke, a simple question about the Constitution, only to be met with a long silence and a pause. The question was simple: "Name two rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution." Clarke, who is the current President and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, was taken off guard and paused in her answer, finally asking for a few moments to consider her response. After some time, she was able to provide a partial answer, citing the First and Fourth Amendments. According to Senator Kennedy, the question was “not a trick” and was intended to be a way to gauge the nominee’s understanding of the Constitution. [tweet_embed] January 27, 2023[/tweet_embed] “Anybody who is going to be a judge has to have some fundamental understanding of the law,” Senator Kennedy said. He added that he was “astounded” by the nominee’s inability to answer the question. Within hours of the hearing, Republican senators and conservative media outlets began to criticize Clarke's answer, while Democratic senators and liberal media outlets defended her. According to Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), “This was an effort to embarrass Kristen Clarke and distract from her impressive qualifications to serve as assistant attorney general for the civil rights division.” She added that the question was “unfair” and that Senator Kennedy “should not be allowed to hijack the nomination hearing with a question that has no relevance to the job for which this nominee is being considered.” On the other side, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) said that the incident was “hugely concerning” and that Senator Kennedy’s question was “simple and straightforward.” He argued that “For an attorney who is nominated to serve in the Department of Justice—someone who is supposed to be an expert in the law—to be unable to answer the question is deeply troubling.” It is unclear what the long-term impacts of this incident will be for the Biden administration and for Clarke’s nomination. Senate Democrats have continued to defend her, with some suggesting that the incident was being used as a “political weapon.” Senate Republicans, in the meantime, have used the incident as an example of what they see as a lack of understanding of the Constitution by the Biden administration and its nominees. This incident serves as yet another reminder of the immense importance of the Supreme Court and the Constitutional rights it protects for all Americans. It is clear that the Biden administration must take steps to ensure that its nominees have a deep understanding of the law and that its appointments to the Supreme Court and other judicial positions have the necessary qualifications and knowledge to make sound decisions.