At Senate confirmation hearings today for nominations to the District of Columbia Superior Court, both candidates stressed how the job would be challenging, yet would also allow them to continue public service.
Both nominees, Rainey Brandt and Kimberly Knowles, told the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs that their work with the Superior Court now gives them firsthand experience on how to be an associate judge.
Knowles has been a magistrate judge since 2010; Brandt has been special counsel to chief judge since 1998.
Brandt, when asked about her lack of experience with civil litigation, said her years of experience consulting with Superior Court judges has "put me in a good position to understand close and personal what the job as a judge actually entails."
She testified that she has trained more than 100 magistrates and judges on both practical and substantive aspects of the law, and her teaching at American University Washington College of Law has given her a good foundation for understanding the law. "Daily, judges come to me seeking advice and counsel on how to handle a variety of issues at a fast pace," Brandt said.
Knowles said that her work as a federal prosecutor and now magistrate has already gave her skills to handle criminal cases and a busy court docket, but she would need to immerse herself in the law when she is faced with legal issues in civil areas where she does not have as much experience.
She said she may not know all the answers, but she knows how to find them. "I will read the law, I will study, I will read the case law and get a fundamental knowledge," Knowles told the committee.
The committee is expected to vote on the nominations soon.