Poor judicial candidate Matthew Petersen, looking every inch the earnest blonde BYU grad that he is, got grilled like a slab of mahi last week, oddly by friendly fire.
Freshman Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana, channeling the disbelief and frustration of all of us who have watched as one hapless, unqualified judicial nominee after another stumbles into the hearings, was unable to hide an emotion best described as weary disgust.
(Let us not forget that one serious Trump judicial pick was eliminated only after it was discovered he had once called transgender children “Satan’s Plan.” Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up.)
Likewise, it doesn’t take much to lampoon poor Petersen’s responses which is why I chose to do it. Holiday shopping and all. It should be noted that the questions from Sen. Kennedy, who has now made side-eye a legit Olympic event, are word for word.
Sen. Kennedy: “Do you know what a motion in limine is?”
Petersen: “I’m sorry, Senator. I am not Italian.”
“Have you ever taken a deposition?”
Petersen: “Hmmmm. Once. To the bank. I had to use the “night deposition,” as I recall.”
“Can you define the Younger Abstention doctrine?”
Petersen: “It is definitely newer than the Older Abstention doctrine.”
“What about the Pullman Abstention Doctrine?”
Petersen: “OK, Ima have to take a hard pass on that one.”
“Have you ever read “Federal Rules of Evidence”?
Petersen (excited): “Yes! But I do not think it’s as good as The Pelican Brief. That was totally my favorite of his.”
Have you ever tried a case?
Petersen: “Okaaaaaay. Give me a sec. Hmmmmm. Uhhhh. Can you give me a definition?”
“This isn’t a spelling bee.”
Petersen: “Can you use the word in a sentence?”
“Still not a spelling bee.”
Petersen: “What is the derivation?”
“It’s a very simple question. Have you ever tried a case in any court of any kind?”
Petersen: “I would to invoke my Second Amendment right to recluse myself.”
“So you have never tried a case in any court?”
Petersen: “Well, when you put it like that, it sounds really bad. You should know that I have watched many legal dramas on Hulu so I believe that ipso facto, habeas corpus, feliz navidad, we good here.”
“Getting back to a motion in limine…”
Petersen: “I’m sorry, Senator, but I believe earlier I mentioned that I would not be able to give you a good definition of that at this table. Or, well, any other table. Yep. At no table could I possibly give you a definition of a motion in limeade.”
At the conclusion of this brutal exchange, it should be noted that the Republican senator briefly buried his face in his hands and later Tweeted “Hoo boy.” which is apparently Republican for “I want my mommy.”
He also, and I haven’t stopped laughing since I read it, said that he needed to put young Petersen out of his misery.
Let’s hope not Ol’ Yeller style.