President Donald Trump’s appointment for a lifetime position as an Alabama federal court judge has come under fire for lack of experience and for not revealing that his wife works in the White House, but just as troubling to those looking for solutions to the nation’s gun violence problem are the statements Brett Talley has made about gun control.
In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School killings, which left 20 students and six teachers dead, Talley, 36, offered both highbrow and lowbrow assessments of calls for changes in gun laws.
Buzzfeed revealed that Talley commented on a University of Alabama sports message board shortly after the killings, “My solution would be to stop being a society of pansies and man up.”
In a more formal comment, Talley said the calls for new gun regulations were the “greatest attack on our constitutional freedoms in our lifetime.” He suggested that his readers sign up for membership in the National Rifle Association.
Talley has also publicly referred to Trump’s 2016 presidential opponent as “Hillary Rotten Clinton.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Talley’s nomination on a partisan vote Thursday with the 11 Republicans approving it and the nine Democrats opposing it. Democrats questioned Talley’s lack of experience, noting that he has only been a practicing lawyer for three years and has never tried a case.
His qualifications include serving a short time at the position he currently holds as an assistant attorney general and two years as a deputy solicitor general in the Alabama attorney general’s office. He also worked as a writer for Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and in Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2012.
Talley has been better known for his work as a writer of horror novels, a ghost hunter and as a blogger whose site The Site That Should Not Be promotes his books and paranormal adventures.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said Talley’s nomination should not go before the full Senate until he explains why he did not disclose that his wife Ann Donaldson is chief of staff to White House Counsel Donald McGahn. The paperwork Talley was required to fill out for the Senate Judiciary Committee asks if the nominee has any family member who might present a potential conflict of interest.
Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said the lack of disclosure was not a problem since Donaldson was sitting behind Talley at the committee hearing and it was well known that she was his wife.
The National Bar Association rated Talley “not qualified” for the lifetime appointment.
[Featured Image by Aaron Fauvila/AP Images]