FEC Commissioner Petersen Gets Tough Questioning at Hearing to Become Federal District Court Judge


A nominee for a District of Columbia judgeship took a beating at his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday when he could not define motion in limine.

U.S. district court nominee Matthew Petersen, a member of the Federal Election Commission, has never tried a case, has taken fewer than 10 depositions, and demurred when asked—twice—if he knew what a motion in limine is.

“My background is not in litigation … I understand the path that many successful district court judges have taken has been a different one than I have taken,” Petersen said at first.

When asked a second time, he said point-blank: “I would probably not be able to give you a good definition right here at the table.”


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