Matthew Petersen: the exception to the rule
The candidate nominated by President Trump for the federal court has withdrawn his nomination after his terrible performance in the hearing before the Senate.
To be up to the job in Trump’s ranks is not exactly an indispensable quality.
That is why when Matthew Petersen - nominated by the president to the district court of Columbia - announced that he was withdrawing his candidacy on Monday, many felt it was an exceptional position at a time where meritocracy is not the order of the day.
During his Senate hearing, Petersen (a Republican member of the Federal Election Commission) demonstrated that he did not handle basic legal concepts, especially when questioned by Republican Sen. John Kennedy, in an exchange that went viral on social media.
— Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) 15 de diciembre de 2017
Motion in Limine and the Younger abstention doctrine were some of the terms that Petersen could not defend before the Senate, nor was he able to give a clear answer regarding his experience in cases of depositions.
"I think he's whip-smart," Kennedy said of the candidate, “But you can't just walk into a federal courthouse for the very first time and say 'Here I am, I think I wanna be a judge.' It just doesn't work that way."
After the episode, and given the media attention triggered, Petersen presented his withdrawal to Trump through a letter in which he said “he did not wish to be a continued distraction to the President’s or administration’s work”, as reported by CNN.
"I had hoped my nearly two decades of public service would carry more weight than my worst two minutes on television," Petersen said.
His performance before the Senate immediately aroused criticism about the President's tendency to "put ideology ahead of qualifications.”
Petersen is Trump's third judicial nominee in recent weeks, along with Jeff Mateer and Brett Talley, whose nominations would not move forward either, throwing back the presidential plan to make the federal judicial system a more conservative body, Reuters explained.
But if we’ve learned something in the past few months is that, when it comes to a White House transformed into a reality show, two minutes are enough to draw conclusions.