These traits were once again evident on Wednesday during a confirmation hearing for Sara Hill, a Biden District Court nominee. Hill, who has the distinction of being the first Native American woman nominated to serve as a federal judge in Oklahoma, found herself at a loss when faced with a straightforward legal question from Kennedy.
Prior to her nomination, Hill served as the attorney general of the Cherokee Nation and was also the Secretary of Natural Resources for the same nation. Her nomination for the District Court was warmly introduced by James Lankford, who, along with fellow Oklahoma Republican Senator Markwayne Mullin, had previously nominated her for the bench.
However, when it was Kennedy's turn to question Hill about the U.S. legal system, she faltered. The senator asked her to distinguish between a "stay order" and an "injunction." A stay order refers to the stoppage, arrest, or suspension of judicial proceedings, while an injunction is a court order compelling a person to do or refrain from performing a specific action.
Hill was visibly flustered by the question and took a moment to gather her thoughts before attempting to define an injunction. However, she was unable to provide a definition for a stay order, leaving Kennedy's question unanswered.
Carrie Severino, President of the Judicial Crisis Network, highlighted the importance of district judges being able to handle injunctions and stay orders, tasks they encounter regularly. She questioned Hill's ability to fulfill her professional duties if she could not answer a question that a first-year law student would likely know.
Despite this stumble, it is expected that Hill will have no difficulty being confirmed for a lifetime judicial position. This is due to the anticipated support from Democrats and Republicans in Name Only (RINOs) like Lankford, who are likely to vote in her favor.