Source: Above The Law
By JOE PATRICE
Back in 2010, Pretending Attorney General Matthew Whitaker attempted to snag himself an Iowa judgeship. Specifically, Whitaker was aiming for the Iowa Supreme Court, presumably so he could do his part in blocking marriage equality, which at the time had just been authorized by a unanimous Iowa high court opinion. He even waxes philosophic at the end of his application about how the Court has “wandered beyond its constitutional authority” and cites John Roberts lying about how judges are just umpires.
The real story here though isn’t that a right-wing operative wanted to crash a gay-friendly state court, but that his application is so laughably bad. It’s just a complete mess. The good people over at American Bridge have uncovered Whitaker’s application to be considered for the Iowa Supreme Court and… wow. If you wondered why career DOJ personnel are so concerned about Whitaker wielding any significant measure of power in his new quasi-job, this application will set you straight.
5. State the periods of your military service, if any, including active duty, reserves or other status. Give the date, branch of service, your rank or rating and your present status.
I did not have the honor of serving in the United States Military and it is one of the greatest regrets in my life.
Thank you for your lip service.
The purpose of this question is to offer a little bit of affirmative action for veterans — an “all else equal” accommodation for those who gave their service. This chud feels so deeply the entitlement of a mediocre man that he can’t even stomach the idea that a veteran might have an advantage in this job and just needs to spout off that he’s basically “service adjacent” because he enjoys the Expendables and bitching about black people expressing opinions about police brutality.
And I never get these “oh, I wanted to and I regret it” conservatives. Like, some people aren’t physically cut out for it, but when a Power 5 Conference Tight End says this stuff… No. You don’t regret it because if you cared enough you could have absolutely done it. You just wanted to go to law school more and that’s cool, but don’t come at us with this chickenhawkshit. While there are undocumented migrants and gay folks and trans Americans enlisting in the Armed Forces and getting hassled by this administration you now serve, no one should have any patience for this preening.
As one might imagine, the bulk of the application focuses on the applicant’s legal experience. It asks for a rundown of positions held and clerkship information before including the classic “any other relevant particulars.” Seasoned applicants know this is the catch-all for that very, very short spiel about how you served as a mediator a ton while working at your last firm and that gave you insight into the adjudication process that isn’t immediately clear from your résumé or something.
But, you know, it’s a question that requires actually accomplishing something “particularly relevant” to answer. So instead, Hoss decides to treat the poor bureaucrat reading these applications to a rambling eight-paragraph biography — written in the third person for some f**king reason — about everything that’s happened to him since birth. It’s the Tristram Shandy of Suck.
Unsurprisingly, the fact that he played football plays a starring role. FOUR of the eight paragraphs mention football. For example:
Matt received an athletic scholarship from Coach Hayden Fry and the University of Iowa. At Iowa, Matt played in 35 consecutive games during his Sophomore, Junior and Senior years, letting all 3 years he played. Matt was a three-time academic all-Big Ten selection and an academic all-American his senior year. Matt played in two-post season bowl games including the 1991 Rose Bowl.
Weird flex in a judicial application but whatever .
And it doesn’t stop! When asked how his appointment would “enhance the court,” he gets right into it again:
As you can see from my resume, I graduated from undergraduate at Iowa in three and one half years while playing on the Iowa football team. My senior season of football was my first full year of law school and I already had completed my first year of coursework toward my MBA. As recent (sic) as this fall, I was practicing law full time and also teaching a business law class for the University of Iowa in their Executive MBA program. I would bring this strong Iowa work ethic to the Court.
He taught one class? As someone who has lived in Iowa, I find the idea that an adjunct gig represents a “strong Iowa work ethic” offensive.
By the way, this cannot be overstated: MATT WHITAKER HAD ALREADY SERVED AS U.S. ATTORNEY AT THIS POINT. This application is the very definition of why less is more. Just say, “Greetings, state judicial nominating folks… I was appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate to represent the United States of America in federal court and now I want this job,” and there’s almost no way he doesn’t get fast-tracked. Instead, he goes on this Desperado jag that only makes him sound like he has no facility for discussing the legal profession. When asked to describe the character of his legal experience…
Overall, the character of my legal experience is broad and diverse. I have represented government, business and individuals in both litigation and transactions. This broad and diverse experience would be a tremendous asset for me with the Court’s unique position in the legal system.
“Unique” is one way to describe the court’s role in the legal system. This wouldn’t be an impressive application to serve as a judicial intern, let alone a judge. And it just never stops. When asked to describe three significant matters, he threw in an RV dealership breach of contract action he’s handled that “settled confidentially.” It ultimately resulted in $26,000 in damages. That’s the big case Whitaker chose to include. Forget “Acting Attorney General” this guy sounds like he’s only an Acting Attorney.
Have you ever held public office other than judicial office? If so, give details, including the office involved, whether elected or appointed, and the length of your service, giving dates.
I was appointed United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa on June 14, 2004 and served until November 24, 2009.
That’s an acceptable answer. It’s exactly the approach he needed to take with this whole application. Is that the end of his answer? Absolutely not.
As members of the Commission may know, my two immediate predecessors as the appointed United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa currently serve as judges…
Dude, play a little hard to get. Is this, mercifully, the end of his answer? Oh dear reader, you know all too well it’s not:
Also, two of my former colleagues as United States Attorneys have been appointed to their respective state’s Supreme Courts…
Jon Favreau’s character from Swingers thinks leaving this message is uncomfortable. It’s actually astounding he never says, “You know who else played football? BYRON MOTHERF**KIN’ WHITE. Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!”
And now he purports to be the nation’s top law enforcement authority. He’s already counseling the White House on policy stances he picked up off the back of a cereal box somewhere along the line. It’s the new American Dream, folks. If you apply yourself to social climbing in enough of a cloying, often embarrassing way, there’s no limit to the jobs you can illegally occupy.
By the way, did you know Whitaker played football?