‘You’re Smart … I Can Tell’: John Kennedy Charms A Biden Judicial Nominee Before He Throws Out Questions

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy charmed President Joe Biden’s nominee for the United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York Nina Morrison, then repeatedly hit her with the same question Wednesday.

Kennedy asked Morrison whether it is appropriate for district attorneys and prosecutors to refuse to prosecute “an entire line” of criminal cases because they disagree with the state legislator and citizens at the Senate Judiciary hearing.

“Senator, I think it is appropriate for prosecutors to evaluate each case that comes before them and—” Morrison began.

“Yes, but that’s not what I’m asking. I know you, I mean, you’re smart, I can tell from your resume,” Kennedy said. “Let me say it again, the people elect their legislators, legislators say on behalf of the people ‘this is a crime which society will not tolerate without punishment.’ Do you think that it’s okay for prosecutors to say ‘I disagree and I’m not going to prosecute an entire line of cases. I don’t care who is charged.’ Do you agree with that?”

Morrison answered that prosecutors “have the legal option” to be flexible regarding particular criminal charges. After Kennedy repeated the question, the nominee said prosecutors can refuse to take up a case depending on the circumstance and rationale.


“I’ll stipulate to that, but we have prosecutors who are saying ‘to hell with the legislature and the people we’re not going to prosecute an entire line of cases,'” the Louisiana senator said. “I think my question is pretty straightforward. Do you agree with that or disagree with it?”

The nominee declined to give a “categorical” answer since she has never worked as a prosecutor and it would depend on the circumstance. (RELATED: John Kennedy Asks Biden Nominee Anne Traum The Same Question 9 Times In A Row)

Kennedy moved on to questions regarding whether judges should be permitted to dismiss a case brought before the court because they disagree with the legislature and the American people.

“Do you think judges—apparently you think that prosecutors should be able to say ‘we’re not going to prosecute a line of cases and groups of crimes’ despite the solemn expression of legislative will. Do you think judges should be able to do that? Say ‘I don’t agree with this criminal statute, I’m not going to prosecute, I’m not gonna hear cases for any of them.’ Do you think a judge should say ‘I don’t want to hear, I’m gonna dismiss all of these cases because I don’t agree with the criminal statute?'”

“I think you understand my question, Ms. Morrison,” he pressed.

Morrison replied that judges cannot refuse to hear a case. However, she said district attorneys can under certain circumstances.

The senator concluded by doubting that he can vote for Morrison due to her inability to answer a “straightforward” question. She answered she hopes that he would look at her entire record and qualifications.

“I see all these comments you’ve made in favor of the district attorneys, who in the name of social justice,” Kennedy said. “And you’ve spoken glowingly of all of them and now you won’t answer my questions about it. You say it’s inappropriate. And I think it’s really appropriate.”

District attorneys across the U.S. have become increasingly lenient on crime. In a January memo, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg promised no prison time for any crime except murder and violent felonies. Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón reportedly refused to prosecute 12,000 cases brought forward in his first year in office despite spikes in his county’s homicide and grand theft auto rates.