Tags: matthew spencer petersen | judge | nominee | flubs | law | qa

Matthew Spencer Petersen, Federal Judge Nominee, Flubs Law Q&A

Matthew Spencer Petersen testifies at a confirmation hearing. (YouTube)

By    |   Friday, 15 December 2017 02:49 PM

Matthew Spencer Petersen, whom President Donald Trump nominated for a federal judgeship, was shown on video Thursday struggling to answer basic legal questions about courtroom law. 

Petersen currently serves on the Federal Election Commission as a commissioner and was one of five Trump nominees testifying at a confirmation hearing Wednesday. He was nominated to be a U.S. district judge in the District of Columbia.

A video of his testimony was posted on Twitter by Democrat Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. 

Republican Sen. John Kennedy questioned Petersen, among other nominees, and learned Petersen had not tried a case to verdict in a courtroom, had not read the Federal Rules of Evidence since law school, and that he could not explain or define some basic legal terms such as the Daubert standard or a motion in limine.

Petersen admitted to Kennedy he had not take a deposition by himself or argued a motion in state or federal court. The nominee said he didn’t have a litigation background but that he had overseen 1,500 to 2,000 enforcement matters with the election commission and many federal court cases as a commissioner.

As Petersen continued to defend himself, Kennedy said, “Yes, I’ve read your résumé.”

Recently, two other Trump judicial nominees were pulled from consideration: Brett Talley, because he had received a “not qualified” rating from the American Bar Association, and Jeff Mateer, because he had called transgender children part of “Satan’s plan” and supports conversion therapy. 

Twitter had lots of criticism for Petersen. 

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Matthew Spencer Petersen, nominated by President Donald Trump for a federal judgeship, struggled to answer basic legal questions about courtroom law during a testimony this week.
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Friday, 15 December 2017 02:49 PM
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