This is one disastrous job interview! There is a growing list of unqualified potential federal judges that the White House is trying to ram through congress. The latest example was yesterday when district court judge nominee Matthew Spencer Petersen appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee and it did not go well to say the least. Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana asked questions that any qualified applicant should be able to answer. But the Trump administration hopeful was clearly out of his league.
The longer the questioning went on, the lower the bar slid. Petersen copped to having never taken a case to verdict. Nor has he ever tried a jury, civil, criminal, bench, state, or federal trial.
When was the last time you read The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or The Federal Rules of Evidence? Are you familiar with the Daubert Standard? Motion in limine? Sen. Kennedy wanted to know.
“My background is not in litigation,” the judicial nominee eventually answered after some rambling.
But perhaps Sen. Kennedy’s last question was rock bottom. Addressing all the nominees seated before him, Sen. Kennedy asked, “Any of you ever blogged in support of the Ku Klux Klan?”
Sen. Kennedy was referring to another embattled former judicial nominee, Brett Talley, who was found to have written a blog post in 2011 defending the KKK and, like Petersen, has never tried a case. The standards are low as the Trump administration tries to ram through as many conservative judges into the courts as possible.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) might have summed it up best: “Hoo-boy.”
— Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) December 15, 2017