Matthew Petersen, the Trump judicial nominee who went viral after struggling to answer basic law questions posed during his confirmation hearing, has withdrawn his name from consideration this Monday according to The Hill.
In a letter to President Trump, Petersen said that the fallout from the humiliating video clip had become a “distraction.”
“I had hoped my nearly two decades of public service might carry more weight than my two worst minutes on television,” he wrote. “However, I am no stranger to political realities, and I do not wish to be a continued distraction from the important work of your Administration and the Senate.”
Petersen is the third judicial nominee to withdraw in a week.
John Kennedy (R-LA) grilled Petersen on his legal expertise during questioning last week, leaving Petersen in the awkward position of having admit his minimal experience when it comes to trying cases. At one point, Kennedy asked Petersen if he knew what the “Daubert standard” is.
“I don’t have that readily at my disposal,” Petersen replied.
“Do you know what a ‘motion in limine’ is?” Kennedy pressed.
“I would probably not be able to give you a good definition,” Petersen responded.
“Do you know what the Younger abstention doctrine is?” Kennedy pressed.
“I’ve heard of it, but again…” Petersen said.
“How about the Pullman abstention doctrine?” Kennedy asked to no avail.
In an interview with a local news station this Monday, Kennedy said that Petersen seemed like a “nice guy” but his lack of experience was disqualifying.
“Just because you’ve seen ‘My Cousin Vinny’ doesn’t qualify you to be a federal judge,” Kennedy said.
From The Hill:
Petersen’s withdrawal came just days after the White House heeded a call from Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to withdraw two other controversial judicial candidates — Brett Talley and Jeff Mateer.
Talley, who was nominated to be a federal judge in Alabama, had never tried a case before in court and was rated “unqualified” by the American Bar Association.
Mateer, meanwhile, drew fierce criticism for past speeches in which he compared homosexuality to bestiality and described transgender children as a part of “Satan’s plan.”
Watch the original exchange below:
— Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) December 15, 2017
Featured image via screen grab