Senator Marsha Blackburn, RR, said on Wednesday that she had serious concerns about one of President Joe Biden’s black judge candidates, and cited his “criminal record” with old speeding tickets, indicating conviction when there is none.
During a Senate Judicial Committee hearing, Blackburn said she would oppose the nomination of Andre Mathis to the US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit for several reasons. She accused the White House of not providing “meaningful advice” on his candidacy for a court position in her state. She said that, in her opinion, Mathis also lacks experience.
But then, oddly enough, she mentioned Mathis’s driving experience.
“He has a track record of charges, including numerous failures to appear in court,” the Republican senator said. “In Tennessee, we expect our judges to respect the law. If Mr. Mathis used to think he was above the law, imagine how he would behave if he was approved as a federal judge.
What Blackburn called a list of charges, or a list of a person’s arrest and convictions, were actually three speeding tickets that Mathis received over 10 years ago, one of which was for speeding 5 miles. His driver’s license was temporarily suspended when he failed to pay it or go to court over it.
Minor traffic violations are usually not grounds for arrest. Mathis told the committee that he was never arrested or charged with any crimes. Regarding his speeding tickets, Mathis said he simply forgot to pay them and did not realize that his license was suspended until he received a notice in the mail.
He was clearly humiliated that his old speeding tickets had become a problem.
“I am very sorry to be in this situation,” Mathis said breathlessly. “I feel like I have disgraced my family. I deserve it, but they don’t. “
Despite her fears that Mathis is acting like he is above the law by not paying fines, Blackburn did not mention that only last year she was stopped by the police as she was driving, got out of the car, indicated that she was a senator USA and flashed her pin of Congress before letting go.
Senator Dick Durbin, Illinois, appeared to mock Blackburn by drawing attention to Mathis’s driving experience.
“Sep. Blackburn refers to your “criminal record,” as she called it, “Durbin told Mathis. “Well, if speeding tickets are a criminal record, I have one too. I have never received a 5 mile speeding ticket, which appears to be one of your fines. … We are all, I think, guilty of this sin, and perhaps we all have a conviction of more than 6 miles or more. “
Senator Corey Booker (DN.J.), who joined the hearing following Blackburn’s remarks, said he “almost laughed” when he found out how she described Mathis’ driving story.
“I laughed with my staff that I now have a criminal record, probably much longer than a witness,” Booker said, recounting the story of his experience as the first black family to move to his New Jersey area as a child.
“I was stopped several times more than [my white friends] we. We all knew what it was about, ”he said. “My brother and I used to think, ‘If we’re black, you’re just preparing to be stopped.’ Sometimes I was stopped for speeding 3 miles, for something cracked or something wrong in my car. “
Booker asked Mathis if he had encountered “driving in black” as a child.
“I take responsibility for my actions. I don’t want to blame anything or anyone else for what I did, ”Mathis replied. – Here’s what I will say about this.
“Sir, that’s a great answer,” replied the Senator from New Jersey. “And in many ways the humility and respect that I think your character is talking about.”