A gavel sits on a desk inside the Court of Appeals at the new Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center, which celebrated its official opening on Monday Jan. 14, 2013, in Denver. 
Photo by Brennan Linsley/AP

Things get worse for Trump’s most outlandish judicial nominee


Donald Trump has sent some outrageous judicial nominees to the Senate for confirmation, but there’s something special about Brett Talley, who’s up for a lifetime position on the federal bench in Alabama.

As we discussed on Friday, Talley, who’s just 36 years old, has never tried a case or argued a motion in court, which probably had something to do with his unanimous “not qualified” rating from the American Bar Association. Talley did, however, work as a blogger, where he pledged support for the NRA and published gems such as “Hillary Rotten Clinton.”

But the story keeps getting worse.

One of President Trump’s most controversial judicial nominees did not disclose on publicly available congressional documents that he is married to a senior lawyer in the White House Counsel’s Office.

The nominee, Brett J. Talley, is awaiting a Senate confirmation vote that could come as early as Monday to become a federal district judge in Alabama. He is married to Ann Donaldson, the chief of staff to the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II.

Talley also appears to have failed to disclose other work he published online, including his reaction to massacre of children at Sandy Hook elementary. “My solution would be to stop being a society of pansies and man up,” Talley wrote in 2012.

Wait, it gets better.

The Daily Beast reported yesterday afternoon that Talley has also expressed “a fervent interest in investigating and writing about paranormal activities.”

On his questionnaire for the Senate Judiciary Committee, a copy of which was provided to The Daily Beast, Talley says that he was part of The Tuscaloosa Paranormal Research Group from 2009-2010. The group, according to its website, searches for the truth “of the paranormal existence” in addition to helping “those who may be living with paranormal activity that can be disruptive and/or traumatic.”

Remember, Donald Trump believes this young man deserves a lifetime position on the federal bench. But just as importantly, as we talked about the other day, literally every Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed Talley’s nomination.

That includes some GOP senators, including Arizona’s Jeff Flake and Nebraska’s Ben Sasse, who’ve developed reputations for their willingness to balk at some of the White House’s more offensive antics.

In fairness, senators apparently didn’t know about some relevant aspects of Talley’s background – because he failed to disclose them – when they voted to advance his nomination to the floor, and the responsible move would be for Senate Republicans to call on Trump to withdraw this nominee.

But at least for now, that hasn’t happened.