Biden Judge Nominee Gets Grilled While Facing GOP Sen. John Kennedy’s Infamous ‘Bar Exam’

On Tuesday, a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing got a little uncomfortable for President Joe Biden’s judicial nominee Judge Kenly Kiya Kato, who faced a grilling from Republican Sen. John Kennedy.

Kato, who is nominated for a spot as a District Judge in California, laughed after Chairman Dick Durbin jokingly congratulated her on passing Kennedy’s “bar exam.”

Kennedy has become known for cutting remarks during his time in the Senate.

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Kennedy to Kato: ‘Come on, Judge, don’t dodge my question. This is really basic constitutional law’

Kennedy asked Kato her opinions on the Fourth Amendment contained in the Bill of Rights.

“Can you tell me what the fourth amendment is,” asked Kennedy, “and the rule of search and seizure, and what the exceptions are?”

After Kato’s responded, Kennedy then constructed a a scenario to see how she would respond.

Kennedy asked, “Suppose California said … ‘we’re not gonna file the exceptions here in California. If you want to arrest someone you better have a warrant.”

“Can California do that?” Kennedy added.

Kato did not really answer Kennedy’s question, which prompted the Republican to say “Come on, Judge, don’t dodge my question. This is really basic constitutional law.”

Kennedy asked his question in different ways until his time ran out.

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Durbin: ‘I want to congratulate the panel on facing the Kennedy Bar Exam’

Then Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin and Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee played comedian.

Durbin said to Kato and the others present, “I want to congratulate the panel on facing the Kennedy Bar Exam, which, occasionally, is administered in this room.”

You could see Kato start to crack up after Durbin made his comment.

Kennedy has a reputation for having a way with words that can be entertaining.

Last October, Kennedy told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that Biden’s tax plan was designed to please “pink-haired wokers.”

In August, Kennedy said that you look up “stupid stuff” in the dictionary, you would find a picture of the Democrats’ infrastructure bill.

In July, Kennedy said of Democrats opposed to voter ID laws, “you’re so dumb, you lose your place during sex, or you want to cheat.”

“It allows for a very generous early voting, very generous absentee voting,” Kennedy said of the GOP legislation. “Yes, it does require voter ID. It does require the people of Texas to prove they are who they say they are when they go to vote. The American people support that. The American people want that.”

“And I say gently to my Democratic friends from Texas, if you don’t, if you don’t see the need for that, then there are one or two close circumstances here,” Kennedy added. “Either you’re so dumb, you lose your place during sex, or you want to cheat. And those are your two choices.”

We’re not sure if Kato laughed at these other examples of Kennedy’s wit.

On December 15, 2021, Biden tapped Judge Kato as his nominee to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Since 2014, Kato served as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Central District of California. From 2002-2014, she and practiced civil and criminal law.

John Hanson

is a professional writer and editor with over 15 years of experience in conservative media and Republican politics. He has been a special guest on Fox News, Sirius XM, appeared as the guest of various popular personalities, and has had a lifelong interest in right-leaning politics.

View Comments

  • The constitution is the law of the land, therefore I would think that anyone elected to congress, etc. should know the constitution by memory frontward and backward, or just go home and memorize it first!

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