White House Withdraws Controversial Federal Judge Nomination

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One day before the five-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School killings, the White House withdrew the nomination of a federal judge whose solution to the massacre was to “stop being a society of pansies and man up.”

The Trump Administration’s nomination of Brett Talley, who currently works in the Justice Department, as an Alabama federal court judge immediately came under fire due to Talley’s lack of experience.

Not only had Talley, 36, never served a day as a judge, but he has only been a lawyer for three years and has never tried a case. The American Bar Association gave Talley a unanimous “unqualified” rating.

Despite that, Talley’s nomination managed to clear the Senate Judiciary Committee by a strict party line vote with the committee’s 11 Republicans approving and nine Democrats voting against.

The nomination began drawing attention when it was revealed that Talley had failed to mention that his wife, Ann Donaldson, is chief of staff to White House Counsel Donald McGahn.

Talley’s only training for the position appeared to be political as he had worked as a speech writer for Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and served in the same position in Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.

Talley has also written horror novels, has been a ghost hunter and has written about those activities on his blog The Site That Should Not Be.

An examination of his writings by Buzzfeed also uncovered his comments about the Sandy Hook murders, which were expressed on a University of Alabama sports message board.

The death knell for the Talley nomination came Monday when Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said there were no plans to hold any hearings. One day later, the White House announced it was withdrawing the nomination.

Featured image credit: Alex BrandonAP Images

The failure of the Talley nomination continued a bad week for Trump in Alabama. On Tuesday, GOP U. S. Senate nominee Roy Moore, who Trump had backed with statements and robocalls, was defeated by Doug Jones in the race for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ former seat. On the same day, results of an NBC exit poll showed Trump’s approval rating in Alabama, a state he won easily in the 2016 election, stood at only 48 percent.

The Talley nomination may not be the only one the White House is forced to withdraw. The Los Angeles Times reports the nomination of Jeff Mateer, Texas assistant attorney general, to a judicial seat in that state, was also likely to be withdrawn, and in fact, has been withdrawn.

Mateen had come under criticism for calling transgender children “part of Satan’s plan.