Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to advance the nomination of Brett Talley, an Alabama attorney who has never tried a case, to a lifetime federal judgeship.
Talley is only the fourth federal judicial nominee in 28 years to be rated “unanimously not qualified” by the American Bar Association, which conducts nonpartisan reviews of nominees. The third was another Trump nominee, Steve Grasz, who is nominated to a seat on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Talley, who has been nominated to be a trial court judge in Alabama, worked for now-Sen. Luther Strange when Strange was the attorney general of Alabama. The New York Times reported this week that Talley failed to disclose to the Senate as a potential conflict of interest the fact that his wife works as a White House lawyer.
Along with his lack of experience, Talley has left a long trail of far-right opinions on the internet. After the massacre of schoolchildren in Newtown, Connecticut, Talley wrote on his blog, “Today I pledge my support to the NRA; financially, politically, and intellectually. I ask you to do the same.” When asked in his confirmation hearing, Talley refused to say that he would recuse himself from cases involving weapons. Talley has made his Twitter account private, but in tweets preserved by the Internet Archive, he opined that Hillary Clinton should be in jail and called her “Hillary Rotten Clinton.”
Yesterday, Buzzfeed reported that Talley appears to have written political messages on a sports message board that he also failed to report to the Senate. The user who appears to be Talley wrote on the message board after the Newtown massacre:
My solution would be to stop being a society of pansies and man up. We shouldn’t depend on the government to protect us. We should be ready to protect ourselves. Everyone should know that part of their social responsibility is to learn how to use a firearm effectively and carry one with them at all times. I know some of you will freak out at that suggestion, but the only law I can imagine that would have stopped what happened in Connecticut is if every one of the teachers was armed with a gun and trained in how to use it.
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s Kyle Barry pointed out on Twitter after the ABA released its rating of Talley that Trump has now “named more “unanimously not qualified” nominees to the federal bench (2) than he has African Americans (1)”:
Trump has named more “unanimously not qualified” nominees to the federal bench (2) than he has African Americans (1) https://t.co/PSyu4SWzPM
— Kyle Barry (@KyleCBarry) November 8, 2017