On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a Trump nominee to a lifetime appointment as a federal judge in Alabama, even though he has never tried a case
Brett J. Talley, 36, 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 the vote, calling it “laughable” that none of the Republicans on the committee objected to confirming a lawyer, who has never tried a case, to preside over federal trials. 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.”
When pressed about his prior experience during the committee hearing, Talley had the following to say;
“To my recollection, during my time as Alabama’s deputy solicitor general, I participated as part of the legal team in one hearing in federal district court in the Middle District of Alabama.”
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 has actually been working in the Justice Department’s office that selects judicial nominees since Jeff Sessions became the Attorney General. After a virtual two-year pause in the confirmation process, nominees have finally started being approved now that Trump is in office.
For the last part of President Obama’s second term, Senator Mitch McConnell (R- KY) engineered a slowdown of all nominations in anticipation of a Republican controlled government after the 2016 election. And while The Supreme Court vacancy left after the passing of Antonin Scalia got the most attention, it is the more than 100 vacancies left unfilled in federal courts across the country that are now being being hastily filled with GOP-friendly nominees.
Since assuming the presidency, Trump has nominated 59 people to the federal courts, including Justice Gorsuch’s elevation to the Supreme Court. By comparison, President Obama only made 27 judicial nominations during his first year in office.