This summer, the Senate confirmed John K. Bush, a lawyer who had kept a blog where he shared the work of radical conspiracy theorists such as the birthers at WorldNetDaily, to a seat on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Now, the Senate is considering the nomination of another Trump judicial nominee with a penchant for far-right internet commentary.
Brett J. Talley, whom President Trump has nominated to a lifetime district court seat in Alabama, is currently an attorney in the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Policy, after spending time in the Alabama attorney general’s office and working as a writer for Sen. Rob Portman’s office and Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. He has a sideline as the author of horror fiction. And he has freely shared his opinions online, including on his personal blog, his Twitter account, and in columns for CNN.
At his confirmation hearing today before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked Talley about a blog post he wrote a month after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School urging readers to join the NRA and calling subsequent gun legislation the “greatest attack on our constitutional freedoms in our lifetime.”
At CNN, Talley wrote columns castigating Never Trumpers, specifically citing the next president’s power to pick Supreme Court justices, urging Trump to place ultra-conservative Judge Bill Pryor on the Supreme Court and defending Jeff Sessions against liberals playing “the race card.”
But Talley really let his opinions fly on Twitter. Talley has since made his account private, but some of his tweets have been captured by the Internet Archive.
During the presidential campaign last summer, Talley tweeted that Hillary Clinton should be in jail:
In July 2016, Talley delighted in Trump’s new nickname for his opponent, “Hillary Rotten Clinton”:
He retweeted an invective from right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham about the need to “defeat the Clinton mob”:
In April, during the March for Science in D.C., Talley mocked protesters for neglecting “scientifically proven ideas, like life beginning at conception:”
Talley even found time to retweet Paul Joseph Watson, the editor-at-large of Infowars, Alex Jones’ conspiracy theory emporium that has promoted the idea that the Sandy Hook shooting was staged. (Watson’s tweet, in this case, was relatively mild, linking to a Washington Post story about Hillary Clinton’s lack of press conferences, but the fact that Talley considered Watson a source of information is startling):
And that’s just from the few of Talley’s 8,000-plus tweets that are accessible through the Internet Archive.