GOP senator will vote against Trump judicial nominee

Kennedy vote against Trump nominee Talley

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said on Tuesday that he will vote against one of President Trump’s least qualified and most controversial judicial nominees.

Kennedy, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told a reporter from Politico that he will not vote to confirm Brett Talley, the 36-year-old deputy assistant attorney general who has never actually tried a case. He then confirmed his stance by saying that he would cast two votes against Talley if he could.

Talley and his nomination have been heavily scrutinized by the media and watchdog groups.

He has been unanimously rated “not qualified” by the American Bar Association’s judicial rating committee, and has only practiced law for only three years.

Civil rights groups strongly condemned him, calling it “laughable” that a nominee to preside over federal trials has never tried a case. Kristine Lucius, the executive vice president of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, had urged the Judiciary Committee to reject Talley.

“He’s practiced law for less than three years and never argued a motion, let alone brought a case. This is the least amount of experience I’ve seen in a judicial nominee.”

In addition to Talley’s lack of prior trial experience, Lucius questioned whether he had the “temperament and ability to approach cases with the fairness and open-mindedness necessary to serve as a federal judge.”

Those reservations are due to Talley’s other career as a blogger, where he has championed the National Rifle Association, and written about the threat of “Hillary Rotten Clinton,” possibly winning the presidency.

Talley also failed to disclose that his wife, Ann Donaldson, serves as chief of staff to White House Counsel Don McGahn.

Trump nominated Talley to the lifetime federal judgeship in Alabama as part of his larger agenda to reshape the federal judiciary. While lagging behind on other federal appointments, Trump has now appointed more judges to appellate courts in the first year of his presidency since Richard Nixon took in 1969.