RNLA President Elliot Berke sent a letter today to the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of current FEC Commissioner Matthew Petersen, who has been nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia:
I have known Commissioner Petersen both personally and professionally for many years and practiced before him at the Federal Election Commission, and there are few attorneys who possess the ability to read, understand, and analyze statutes and regulations as well as Commissioner Petersen. He is a consummate professional who has carefully considered the facts and the law for each matter before him at the FEC, without regard to policy considerations that were outside his purview. His knowledge of and experience with administrative law are exceptional, and as you are aware, administrative law forms a substantial portion of the District Court for the District of Columbia’s docket.
Commissioner Petersen has recently been subject to politically motivated attacks about his trial knowledge and experience. Those who oppose his steadfast defense of American citizens’ First Amendment rights of political speech at the FEC do not wish him to join the federal bench.
The reality is that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and other doctrines governing trial procedure are of course important aspects of the position, but the ability to parse complicated regulations and correctly apply them to factual situations must be honed over years of practice. Commissioner Petersen has done precisely that in his distinguished career of public service and private practice. The American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary unanimously rated him as qualified.
The RNLA urges the Senate Judiciary Committee to swiftly and favorably report his nomination to the entire Senate and the Senate to confirm him. Those who oppose Commissioner Petersen because of his support for the First Amendment and the rule of law at the FEC should not be allowed to prevail.