President Donald Trump’s nominee for a spot on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Matthew Peterson, is a sign of larger distress in the White House judicial appointment process, a former federal prosecutor explained to CNN’s Jake Tapper Friday.
Trump’s nominee was tripped up during the hearing when Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) questioned whether he had any experience in court.
“It’s like asking somebody what the first letter of the alphabet is and what the last letter of the alphabet is,” CNN legal analyst Laura Coates explained. “Remember, lawyers are presumed generalists, they’re supposed to know all sorts of areas of the law.”
“You’ve got to know the federal rules of evidence,” Coates noted.
“Did you prep the night before? Did you have a Cliffs’ Notes version of any of these things?” Coates wondered. “It’s hard to give him the benefit of the doubt, when he takes it so not seriously.”
Tapper inquired whether Sen. Kennedy had gone too far by embarrassing an appointment from his own political party.
“No, not at all. What he did was point out, that if would like to have a life position on the bench, overseeing federal trials as a district judge, well it would behoove you to perhaps be experienced in the law, or at least pretend to be on TV in front of the hearings,” Coates noted.
“They’re not doing their research and the judges are not doing their job,” Coates concluded. “They’re not even phoning it in.”