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Law 101: Trump judicial nominee struggles to answer basical legal questions

| Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, 10:51 a.m.

WASHINGTON — A lawyer nominated by President Donald Trump to be a federal judge has become an internet sensation after having difficulty answering basic legal questions.

Millions have now watched video of Matthew Spencer Petersen struggling with questions Thursday from Sen. John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican.

Petersen, who serves on the Federal Election Commission, had difficulty answering questions about the “Daubert standard,” which has to do with expert witness testimony, and the definition of a “motion in limine,” which has to do with the introduction of evidence. He acknowledged he has never tried a case or argued a motion in court. He said he last read the federal rules of evidence in law school.

Petersen graduated from Brigham Young University. He earned a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1999.

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