Another Biden nominee for the federal bench doesn’t know basic legal concepts
Sara E. Hill has one of the most important qualifications for a future member of the federal judiciary. It’s not that she’s a brilliant, successful attorney, which seems to be questionable. What matters is that the former attorney general of the Cherokee Nation ticks off the right box on the left’s diversity hierarchy, for Hill is of Cherokee descent. However, when this litigation attorney was asked about two very basic judicial principles, she flailed badly.
When you are a litigator, there are two things that you do constantly: You ask the court for stays, and you ask the court to issue temporary injunctions that you hope will turn into permanent ones. Both motions ask the court to stop something from happening, but they are very different in purpose and effect.
A stay request is one that asks the court to halt judicial proceedings. It’s a purely procedural motion that goes to the court’s management of events unfolding before it. The most common circumstance is when a judge issues an order, and one of the parties takes the matter to the appellate court. At the same time, that party will ask the trial court to “stay” its order pending the appeal’s outcome.
An injunction asks the court to make a substantive, legal decision to enjoin (or stop) one of the parties from the case from acting outside the court, in the real world. For example, if someone claimed a right to tear down my house, I would rush into court seeking a temporary injunction stopping the person from doing so pending a proceeding examining the facts and law of the case.
If the court determines that my claim could prevail and that refusing to issue the temporary injunction means my case will be mooted because my property will be irreparably harmed or destroyed, I’ll get that temporary injunction. Then, after a full trial of the matter, if I win, the court will issue an order permanently enjoining the other party from destroying my house.
As I said, these are two of the most basic things attorneys do: They ask for stays of proceedings or for injunctions against the other party in a case.
Yet Sara Hill, when asked to define the two terms, couldn’t do so:
🚨President Biden’s district judge nominee Sara Hill was unable to explain to @SenJohnKennedy the difference between a “stay order” and an “injunction.”— Carrie Severino (@JCNSeverino) November 15, 2023
How can an individual who wants to be a federal judge possibly not know this?
Senator Durbin even congratulated Hill… pic.twitter.com/6oJAKqhN3I
I actually feel a little sorry for Hill. She’s clearly nervous and, seemingly, her mind went blank. But this is such basic stuff that, even with a blank mind, she should have been able to dredge up an answer. That she couldn’t suggests that Biden’s only concern when appointing her was her racial heritage.
Since I’m not a fan of judges, I’m actually unimpressed by yet another marginal person sitting on the bench. So many are. It’s a sad, bad thing for America, but it’s reality.
However, I want you to think about the fact that this same racial algorithm is being applied across the board in American society. American Airlines, for example, has made it clear that race is a priority when it makes its hiring decisions:
[T]he airline has admitted that it weighs race as a factor in hiring and in contracting, according to materials reviewed. In a shareholder meeting last June, the NCPPR reported that AA CEO Doug Parker said the airline “absolutely” weighs “diversity, equity, and inclusion” in its hiring process for pilots.
When people board that plane, they don’t want to know that their pilot has the right skin color. They want to know that he or she was hired for competency. They understand that the person’s race should be irrelevant to the hiring decision.
The same, of course, should be true for judges but, again, we don’t live in a perfect world.
Image: Twitter screen grab.