WASHINGTON, D.C. — In recent days, the Trump administration has hit a few stumbling blocks with their nominees to various federal district courts. On two occasions, they’ve been forced to withdraw from consideration nominees who the American Bar Association called “not qualified” for the positions, another that was rated as such barely squeaked through his confirmation, and yesterday’s Senate Judiciary hearing left another nominee looking heartily unprepared for the role he was nominated for.
In a video that has gone viral, Matthew Spencer Petersen is seen being asked very basic questions by a Republican senator from Louisiana, John Kennedy. Mr. Petersen’s inability to answer questions about the country’s legal and justice system was so apparent, that Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse tweeted it out not long after it happened, and the tweet and its attachment have gone viral.
— Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) December 15, 2017
Things perhaps got worse for Mr. Petersen today. During an interview with a local Fox News affiliate, someone handed him a gavel, and Petersen was unsure what to do with it. It even appeared he might not know what its name is.
“Oh yeah, hey, ha ha, it’s one of those judge’s hammer thingies! I love it when I get to play with the judge’s hammer thingy! This is fun,” Petersen said, clutching the gavel in his right hand.
Mr. Petersen began running around the room, swinging the gavel, and pretending to let it lead him.
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“Look everyone! I’m Thor! I’m Thor! I’m Thorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr,” Petersen screamed in a faux-British accent.
After several minutes, the Fox News affiliate host was able to get Petersen to calm down a bit. When he’d stopped breathing heavily from all the running around, the anchor asked Petersen a very simple question about being a judge. Mr. Petersen was asked what he thought the guiding principal of any judge who hears cases should be.Petersen’s answer may leave some wanting.
“I like football okay, but the recipe for margaritas my mom gave me doesn’t go to Sunday School on the third Tuesday of the month,” Petersen said. “No wait. That doesn’t make any sense. Let me answer it better.”
Petersen paused and collected himself.
“I like football okay, but the recipe for CUPCAKES my mom gave me doesn’t go to Sunday school on the third Tuesday of the month,” Petersen corrected himself, a look of self-satisfaction on his face. “Phew! Dodged one there; almost made myself look like a real idiot.”