Petersen is the third person Trump has nominated to withdraw in the past week after drawing criticism and Democrats and others about their qualifications. In a five-minute exchange reminiscent of the Socratic method used in law school, Kennedy, a former LSU law professor, exposed an inexperienced and unprepared Petersen.
Only Mr Petersen raises his hand.
The White House last week defended Peterson.
"It has become clear to me over the last few days that my nomination has become a distraction".
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". "However, I am no stranger to political realities".
Mr Trump's critics were vocal following the Senate hearing, claiming the president was not focusing on qualifications for his nominees. The Senate has confirmed Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, 12 circuit court judges and six district court judges. A day later, both nominations were pulled. Petersen, who was being considered for a lifetime appointment on the bench, was unable to answer those basic questions. Kennedy then bore down.
KENNEDY: State or federal court?
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"He has told me, 'Kennedy, when some of my guys send someone who is not qualified, you do your job, '" the GOP senator said.
Had he ever argued a motion in state court?
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.
PETERSEN: Yes. I haven't, I'm, again, my background is not in litigation as when I was replying to Chairman (Chuck) Grassley (R-Iowa), I haven't had to um, again, do a deep dive. Not only did he prove that he is not qualified to serve, but judging from the cavalier nature by which he prepared for the confirmation hearing only further proved that he does not take the bench as serious as one should.
KENNEDY: As a trial judge, you're obviously going to have witnesses.
"And they will investigate a good more about people's blogging activities", Kennedy added - a reference to Talley, whose nomination was withdrawn last week after it emerged that he posted an defense of "the first KKK" online in 2011.
Kennedy said Trump has also told him that he's counting on senators to reject his bad judicial picks. Can you tell me what the Daubert standard is?
The episode caused the senator to receive a great deal of media attention, and he was recently quoted saying "just because you've seen My Cousin Vinny doesn't qualify you to be a federal judge".