Brett Talley is seen at the Holy Rood Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
Amid bipartisan backlash, the White House on Wednesday withdrew an inexperienced Alabama lawyer from consideration for a lifetime federal judgeship, according to a report.
Brett Talley, who currently serves in the Justice Department’s legal policy office, made national headlines after President Trump appointed him to a spot on the U.S. District Court in Alabama despite the fact that he had never argued or tried a case in federal court.
The news that Trump is giving up on trying to confirm one of his most controversial judicial nominees, was confirmed Wednesday by the White House.
“Talley has offered to withdraw his nomination, thus it will not be moving forward,” said a White House spokeswoman.
The Talley withdrawal comes just one day after the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley [R-Iowa], called on the White House to pull Talley’s nomination.
Talley, who is a 36-year-old deputy assistant attorney general at the Justice Department, has only practised law for three years and has never tried a case. He failed to disclose to the Senate that his wife is chief of staff to White House counsel Don McGahn, who oversees the judicial nominations.
He’s tweeted about Hillary Clinton being “rotten,” and said his solution to the Sandy Hook shooting massacre “would be to stop being a society of pansies and man up.”
Talley, who also writes horror novels and was a paranormal activity investigator, earned the rare distinction of being rated unanimously “not qualified” by the American Bar Association. The fourth Trump judicial nominee to earn that rare professional thumbs down.
Despite his lack of credentials, every Republican on the Judiciary Committee voted to advance Brett Talley to the Senate floor last month. The tide changed this week, as chairman Grassley unexpectedly told reporters he wanted the White House to withdraw Talley’s nomination. citing the American Bar Association’s unusual rating of Talley as “unanimously unqualified.”
Also Wednesday, Grassley told reporters that another of President Trump’s judicial nominees, Jeff Mateer, won’t be going anywhere either.
President Trump nominated a critically under-qualified Brett Talley for a federal judgeship in Alabama
Mateer, who had been tapped for a lifetime federal judgeship in Texas, has cited the existence of transgender children as evidence of “Satan’s plan.”
Talley also has a history of invoking Satan, but in a fictional context.
Trump nominee failed to reveal marriage to White House lawyer
The 36-year-old has penned numerous horror books, several of which focus on paranormal activity and the occult. His latest, released this past April, is titled “The Fiddle Is the Devil’s Instrument.”
Already facing flak over the American Bar Association rating, Talley came under additional scrutiny last month after he failed to indicate on publicly available congressional forms that he’s married to a White House lawyer.
The Alabama native, who has only practised law for three years, also came under fire for failing to disclose highly political pro-gun blog posts, one of which called President Obama’s attempt to expand background checks after the Sandy Hook massacre “the greatest attack on our constitutional freedoms in our lifetime.”
Sen. John Kennedy [R-La.], was the first Republican to raise problems with Talley, saying he would vote against his confirmation because he’s “never tried a lawsuit in his natural life … Give me a break.”
Ironically, in his job at the Justice Department, Talley vets judicial nominees and helps them with their nomination paperwork.