Brett Talley, a 36-year-old lawyer whom President Trump nominated for a lifetime federal judgeship, has practiced law for only three years and has yet to try a case.
Before his nomination in September, he had been unequivocal about his political views. “Hillary Rotten Clinton might be the best Trumpism yet,” says a tweet from his account, which has since been made private. “A Call to Arms: It’s Time to Join the National Rifle Association” was the title of a blog post he wrote in January 2013, a month after a gunman in Newtown, Conn., killed 27 people before taking his own life.
Talley, who also writes horror novels on the side, moved a step closer to becoming a federal district judge in his home state of Alabama on Thursday. Voting along party lines, the Senate Judiciary Committee, on which Republicans outnumber Democrats, approved Talley’s nomination, which now goes to the Senate for a full vote.
Talley is the latest federal judicial nominee to draw scrutiny for what some say is his limited experience in practicing law and the level of partisanship he had shown on social media, on his political blog and on several opinion pieces he had written for CNN. He has also received a “not qualified” rating from the American Bar Association, which vets federal judicial nominees.
Talley’s lack of experience in the courtroom and his partisan commentaries, however, were repeatedly questioned by Democrats on the Judiciary Committee.
“Your overall qualifications and preparation for becoming a lifetime-appointed federal judge are a concern to me,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said, according to her written questions to Talley.
Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) did not mince words, asking questions like: “How can you claim to be qualified for a lifetime appointment to supervise federal trials on a daily basis when you have never yourself tried a single case?” and “Do you think it is advisable to put people with literally no trial experience on the federal district court bench?”
(Excerpted from Washington Post 11/12/17)