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White House Withdraws Nomination of Brett Talley

By William Vogeler, Esq. on December 14, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

If you heard a big sucking sound out of Alabama, it was not just Roy Moore's loss in his bid for the U.S. Senate.

As President Trump was backing away from his controversial pick, the White House announced it would "not be moving forward" with Trump's nomination of an Alabama lawyer for a federal judgeship.

It had not looked good for attorney Brett J. Talley for a while. The American Bar Association had called him "unanimously" unqualified.

"Unanimously Unqualified"

Talley, 36, has practiced law for three years and never tried a case. He has never even argued a motion in federal court.

The Harvard Law graduate reportedly will continue his work as a deputy assistant attorney at the Justice Department. According to reports, he was a former speech writer and paranormal activity investigator.

His nomination sparked controversy almost from the beginning. His withdrawal settles the unrest, but it also marks the President's first notable loss in judicial nominations.

However, the Huffington Post reported Jeff Mateer's nomination for federal judgeship also will "not be moving forward." Mateer drew scrutiny for describing transgender children as evidence of "Satan's plan."

Judiciary Stamped Approval

Despite the "unqualified rating" and controversy surrounding Talley, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved his nomination along an 11-9 party line.

Details did not get past the press, however. In a questionnaire Talley submitted to the committee, the New York Times reported that he did not disclose a potential conflict of interest.

Talley is married to a married to one of Trump's lawyers. Annie Donaldson is chief of staff for White House Counsel Donald McGahn.

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