Beyond embarrassing, inexperienced judicial nominees can ruin lives behind the bench

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Matthew Peterson has written to US President Donald Trump to withdraw his judicial nomination after his hearing video went viral last week. Kennedy said Trump told him that he had not met the nominee himself.

Mr Peterson, who became the third of Mr Trump's judicial picks to flounder in just a week, said: "I had hoped that my almost two decades of public service might carry more weight than my two worst minutes on television".

The Federal Election Commissioner was asked a variety of questions during the hearing including how many depositions he had worked, how many jury trials he had tried and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

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.

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Mr Petersen acknowledged during the televised hearing his background was not in litigation, but following the questioning he wrote to Mr Trump to withdraw his nomination. I believe the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary was correct when it unanimously rated him as "Qualified". He said Trump did not personally interview Petersen and the nominations were chosen by his staff. Kennedy explained, "He just said do your job, I'll never criticize you for doing what you think is right". "And there are still lots of other nominees in the pipeline who deserve the same intense scrutiny that made those nominees' flaws glaringly apparent". The Senate confirmed 12 of his circuit court judges this year, more than any president has gotten in their first year since those courts were created in 1891.

Last week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley suggested to the White House to "reconsider" two nominees.

Petersen's demise follows those of fellow district court nominees Brett Talley of Alabama and Jeff Mateer of Texas. He is also serving as an example to all senators, reminding them of their constitutional duties to vet nominees in order to confirm the most qualified individuals to the federal bench, irrespective of political affiliation.

These are embarrassing setbacks to Trump's otherwise successful push to fill up federal courts with his lifetime judges. "Judges in the D.C. court usually handle one of two types of cases; the most frequent would be cases involving administration agencies, which Matt Petersen has a great deal of experience with".