You may recall that the other day I posted the viral video of the unqualified Trump judicial nominee.
He has never tried a case. He’s assisted with fewer than five depositions and never taken one himself. He’s never argued a motion in court. He stumbled and bumbled when asked when he last read the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. He last read the Federal Rules of Evidence in law school. He doesn’t know what the Daubert standard is. He initially says he knows what a motion in limine is, but ends up conceding that he could not give a definition of it. He doesn’t know what the Younger or Pullman abstention doctrines are.
And now, he is withdrawing from consideration:
Matthew Peteresen’s withdrawal letter to the President pic.twitter.com/wmGrJpCLF0
— Sam Stein (@samstein) December 18, 2017
He makes a case in the letter that knowledge of incredibly basic questions of civil procedure and evidence is unnecessary for this position, because it deals with many regulatory matters. Maybe that’s why he didn’t bother to prepare himself for the job — as I explained in my previous post:
But if I were a nominee to the federal bench, I would bone up on this stuff. Especially if I had never tried a case or argued a motion or taken a deposition. I would read the FRCP and FRE. I’d look at the basic jurisdictional rules, which federal judges have to know and apply whether the parties raise them or not.
In other words, I would try to show that I am worthy of the nomination.
Nominees to the federal bench aren’t supposed to be just any random lawyer. It’s a lifetime appointment. You’re expected to have at least some idea what you’re doing.
This guy is not only unworthy, he’s not even trying. It’s shameful and embarrassing.
I can’t feel too sorry for the guy. Two to three days of preparation could have avoided this embarrassment. If you’re unwilling to do that preparation, how can we know you’ll be prepared for cases you try as a judge?