Trump judicial nominee can’t answer basic legal questions during hearing

A Democratic senator posted a video to Twitter mocking one of President Trump’s judicial nominees this Thursday, showing the nominee struggling to answer a GOP senator’s line of questioning regarding the law.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) posted a video to Twitter of Matthew Spencer Petersen, who is a commissioner on the Federal Election Commission, taking questions during a hearing on his nomination for a judgeship in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

According to Whitehouse, the video was a “MUST WATCH” because Petersen seemed unable to answer “basic questions of law” put forth by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA).

“Hoo-boy,” Whitehouse wrote in the tweet.

“Do you know what a motion in limine is?” Kennedy asked Petersen in the video.

“I would probably not be able to give you a good definition,” Petersen responded.

“Do you know what the Younger abstention doctrine is?” Kennedy continued.

“I’ve heard of it, but again…” Petersen said.

“How about the Pullman abstention doctrine?” Kennedy asked to no avail.

According to The Hill, Petersen put out a statement explaining his inability to answer the questions, saying that he hasn’t had a chance to “to do a deep dive” into the subject matter, adding that he understands “the challenge that would be ahead of me if I were fortunate enough to be named a district court judge.”

“I understand that the path many successful district court judges has been a different one than I have taken,” Petersen said.

From The Hill:

The White House announced this week it would withdraw two controversial judicial nominees opposed by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. Those nominees were under fire for controversial statements made in the past, and one had also practiced law for less than three years.

Watch the video below:

Featured image via screen grab (Twitter)

Sky Palma

Before launching DeadState back in 2012, Sky Palma has been blogging about politics, social issues and religion for over a decade. He lives in Los Angeles and also enjoys Brazilian jiu jitsu, chess, music and art.