December 15, 2017

Trump's habit of nominating woefully unqualified people for high judicial positions met with a sharp rebuke last night, this time by a Republican Senator from Louisiana, John Kennedy. He seemed as fed up as the rest of us with Trump's embarrassments.

Source: Business Insider

One of President Donald Trump's nominees to serve as a US District Court judge struggled to answer basic legal questions during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in which a top Republican senator inquired about his qualifications.

Nominee Matthew Spencer Petersen was part of a panel of nominees being interviewed on Wednesday. In one clip, the Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana asked the panel to raise their hands to answer the question, "Have any of you not tried a case to verdict in a courtroom?"

Petersen appeared to be the only person to raise his hand.

Kennedy then peppered Petersen with additional questions that seemed to get progressively basic.

"Have you ever tried a jury trial," Kennedy asked Petersen. "I have not," Petersen replied.

Kennedy: "Civil?"

Petersen: "No."

Kennedy: "Criminal?"

Petersen: "No."

Kennedy: "Bench?"

Petersen: "No."

Kennedy: "State or federal court?"

Petersen: "I have not."

Kennedy: "Have you ever taken a deposition?"

Petersen replied that he was "involved in taking depositions" as an associate attorney fresh out of law school.

Kennedy began asking Petersen for basic legal definitions, to which Petersen largely could not answer. The video gained nearly 1 million views on Twitter in a matter of hours Thursday night.

Think Progress reminds us that Petersen has spent much of his recent professional life as a political appointee to the FEC (Federal Election Committee), doing yeoman's service thwarting campaign finance reform. Deadlock was so common a recent spat whether to serve bagels or donuts at their 40th anniversary party made headlines.

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