close Biden judicial nominee appears incapable of defining basic legal terms used regularly by judges Video

Biden judicial nominee appears incapable of defining basic legal terms used regularly by judges

A nominee for a district judgeship in Oklahoma struggled during her nomination hearing on Wednesday after Sen. John Kennedy asked her to define basic terms for orders issued regularly by judges.

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President Biden’s nomination of a judge who once released a man later involved in the murder of a 10-year-old, was not renewed after mounting pressure from Republicans in the senate, despite a Democrat majority. 

President Biden originally nominated Judge Todd Edelman in 2022 to serve on the U.S. District Court of Washington, D.C. Edelman currently sits on the district’s Superior Court, where he presided over a case involving Christian Wingfield.

Wingfield was awaiting trial for illegal possession of a firearm when Edelman released Wingfield with a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet. Shortly after his release, Wingfield was involved in the murder of a 10-year-old boy, Davon McNeal, July 4, 2020, while attending a “stop the violence” cookout. 

“Crime in DC and across the country is skyrocketing, thanks in large part to radical, activist judges like Judge Edelman,” Senator Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee and opposed Edelman, told Fox News Digital.  


Marsha Blackburn

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee.  (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

“A child died because Judge Edelman didn’t do his job, but President Biden wanted to give him a promotion. I am pleased to see that the White House has backed down from its reckless decision to nominate Edelman to the federal bench,” she said.

The White House did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on the matter. 

In an op-ed published by the Washington Post, author Dana Milbank, who is reportedly a friend of Edelman, said he was “an important pick for progressives.” Milbank lamented Democrats’ inability to overwhelm Republican criticisms of Edelman, saying Democrats “cowered.”

“[I]f Democrats are so cowardly that they won’t fight back and won’t answer the lies with truth, then the battle to preserve our democracy is already lost no matter who wins at the polls,” said Milbank. 


Candles are burned during a celebration of the life of 11-year-old sixth-grader Davon McNeal, who was fatally shot by a stray bullet after a July 4 anti-violence cookout organized by his mother in Washington, DC, Thursday, July 9, 2020.  (Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

In November of 2022, Edelman was questioned about his decision to release Wingfield in his nomination hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

“When you made the choice to release Mr. Wingfield, you knew these following facts,” Senator Blackburn told Edelman at the hearing. “You knew that he had multiple arrests for illegally possessing a firearm.”

“And you know that he had been identified as the person who, on another occasion, had been shooting a gun in the street at 1 p.m. in broad daylight,” she pressed. 

DC Police Departments SUV

Christian Wingfield was awaiting trial for illegal possession of a firearm when Biden’s judicial nominee released him with a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet.  (Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Blackburn added that a week prior to Edelman’s decision to release Wingfield, another judge denied Wingfield’s request for pre-trial release because he posed a “safety risk” to the community.


Edelman said he recalled “virtually all the facts” and defended his decision by calling the charge of illegal gun possession “non-violent.” 

Edelman also stated that Wingfield pleaded guilty to “a lesser charge” of associating with the group that killed McNeal and was not the person who fired the gun. Wingfield eventually pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

Edelman failed to earn enough votes in the committee to proceed to a full senate confirmation, which let his confirmation expire at the end of the 117th Congress. With Democrats in the majority, his failure to earn enough committee votes indicates that at least one Democrat was unwilling to back him for the judgeship.

President Biden did not renew is nomination. 

Brianna Herlihy is a politics writer for Fox News Digital.

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