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Opinion | Tennessee Sen. Blackburn owes a Memphis attorney an apology | Richard Ransom

In Thursday's Ransom Note, Anchor Richard Ransom shares why Sen. Blackburn owes a Memphis attorney an apology.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In Thursday's Ransom Note, Marsha, Marsha, Marsha. 

Tennessee's U.S. Senator sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee and she owes Memphis attorney Andre Mathis an apology. 

Mathis was nominated by President Biden to be the first Black male judge on the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. As a partner at the Butler Snow Law Firm, he's received high praise from the local bar association made up of Republicans and Democrats. 

FedEx CEO Fred Smith, a Republican, sent senators a glowing letter of recommendation, but when his home state senator said this: 

"On the eve of his hearing, it has been made public that he has a rap sheet with a laundry list of citations including multiple failures to appear in court," Sen. Blackburn said. "In Tennessee, we expect our judges to respect the law, not disregard it. Mr. Mathis thought he was above the law before, imagine how he'll conduct himself if he's confirmed as a federal judge."

You saw the senator say "rap sheet", and you might wonder what on Earth did this guy do? How was he not vetted? 

He forgot to pay three speeding tickets more than 10 years ago, when he was in his twenties. One ticket was for going five miles over the speed limit. 

"I highly regret that I'm in this situation," Mathis said. "I feel like I embarrassed my family. I truly regret that. While I deserve this, they don't."

Wow. He's embarrassed? Blackburn should be embarrassed. As one senator said, if speeding tickets count as a rap sheet, I've got one, too. Plus, as more than one news outlet has observed, it was an odd question. 

Considering last year, Blackburn was in a car caught speeding down Constitution Avenue and when Capitol Police pulled it over, she jumped out, showed off her senate member's pin and was let go. 

I don't pretend to know what's in the senator's heart, but calling a Black man's three speeding tickets a rap sheet is at the very least tone deaf, and she should be ashamed. 

I'd love to hear what you think. Join the conversation by email, Facebook or Twitter.