A fabulous and seriously underrated component of Trump’s presidency is his ability to appoint judges. It’s no secret that the court system in America is absurdly left-wing, which often prevents conservative legislation from being enacted, as we’ve seen with Trump’s multiple executive orders being struck down.
All it takes is one ideologue to legislate from the bench, but thanks to Trump’s victory, there’s now an opportunity to fill a few benches with conservative-leaning folks. While it’s generally gone well for the president in this regard thus far, his latest judicial nominee embarrassed the president and himself during his confirmation hearing.
As reported at the Daily Caller, Matthew Petersen, President Donald Trump’s nominee to the US District Court for the District of Columbia, had such a disastrous confirmation hearing that he submitted a letter of withdrawal Monday.
Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana bombarded Petersen with questions relevant to a trial judge’s work during the hearing, to which the nominee responded with stutters and apologies, admitting that he couldn’t answer most of the senator’s queries. Even the most basic questions left Peterson speechless, as the pressure and embarrassment continued to compound itself throughout the hearing.
His performance has since gone viral, providing the Left with ample ammunition against Trump and his appointment choices.
Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse tweeted a video of the Kennedy-Petersen exchanges which was retweeted almost 100,000 times. With so much negative attention on the hearing, Peterson was left no choice but to withdraw, not that he would have been given any choice had he refused to recuse himself.
“While I am honored to have been nominated for this position, it has become clear to me over the past few days that my nomination has become a distraction — and that is not fair to you or your administration,” he wrote in his letter of withdrawal.
While the hearing made it appear that Peterson wasn’t a good fit for the job, Senator Kennedy’s relentless pummeling didn’t help matters. The senator has been very vocal in his criticisms of several Trump appointees as head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and he teamed up with the Democrats to vote against Greg Katsas’s nomination to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in November
All because he had “concerns” over Katsas’s impartiality. Prior to his nomination, Katsas served in the White House Counsel’s office, prompting anxiety about potential bias when judging matters relating to the Trump administration. Despite his no vote, Katsas was confirmed.
While it’s good to question a nominees’ potential biases, one hopes that Kennedy has been and will be this critical of liberal judges as well, considering their overt shamelessness when it comes to ruling based on their ideological proclivities.
Speaking to local media Monday morning, Kennedy said he was duty-bound as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to ensure that Petersen is qualified for judicial service.
“Just because you’ve seen ‘My Cousin Vinny’ doesn’t qualify you to be a federal judge,” the senator said. “He has no litigation experience, and my job on the Judiciary Committee is to catch him.”
“I would strongly suggest he not give up his day job,” he added.
Peterson may have looked clueless during the hearing, but he did receive a “qualified” rating from the American Bar Association’s standing committee on the federal judiciary, which vets nominees to the federal bench.
“I had hope that my nearly two decades of public service might carry more weight than my two worst minutes on television,” Peterson lamented in his letter.
It certainly can’t be easy to sit in front of the cameras and politicians tasked with confirming your qualifications, and still remain composed. However, whether it was a lack of knowledge, the pressure, or both, you can’t put on that poor a performance and expect to land as high profile a job he was being interviewed for.
Source: Daily Caller