Matthew Petersen, the star of that cringeworthy video struggling (and mainly failing) to answer the most basic questions of trial procedure, has withdrawn his nomination to serve as a federal judge.
— Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) December 15, 2017
His haplessness was so abject and the video so widely shared that I couldn’t help but feel a bit sorry for him. A bit. He’s not some random who’s new to DC. He’s been a commissioner on the Federal Election Commission since 2008 and was actually chairman last year. A few lawyers pointed out to me that it’s not impossible to be a lawyer and even a successful one and years out of law school just not know the answers to a lot of the questions he was being asked. So it’s not like the guy is necessarily an imbecile. But that’s really not an excuse. It’s mind-boggling that he would have accepted (and no doubt actively solicited) a federal judicial appointment when he was so obviously ignorant of the basic nuts and bolts of what judges do. That kind of entitlement or arrogance is in many ways much worse than simply being completely ignorant or even a fool.