Unqualified Judicial Nominee Reportedly Defended 'the First KKK' on an Alabama Fan Forum

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Brett Talley, an extremely inexperienced and unqualified erstwhile ghost hunter who President Trump nominated to the federal bench, appears to be totally cool with “the first KKK.”

Talley authored thousands of posts on a University of Alabama fan message board, TideFans.com, under the pseudonym BamainBoston. BuzzFeed News was able to identify Talley as the user after he wrote a message announcing The Washington Post had profiled him in 2014.

One of Talley’s posts, of which there are reportedly 16,381, defended a founding member of the Ku Klux Klan, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. In a 2011 post, another user, Bamaro, posted a story questioning a Mississippi proposal to honor Forrest by using his image in a license plate. “Who comes up with these things,” Bamaro asked. Talley, seemingly befuddled as to why anyone would take issue with honoring Forrest, responded:

Heaven forbid we let the facts get in the way of your righteous indignation, but Forrest, when he decommissioned his men, told them to make peace with the men they had fought and live as good citizens of the United States. It was only after the perceived depredations of the Union army during reconstruction that Forrest joined (it is highly unlikely that he founded or acted as the Grand Wizard) the first KKK, which was entirely different than the KKK of the early 19th Century. When the Klan turned to racial violence, he distanced himself from the organization as he had long supported the reconciliation of the races. In fact, he often spoke to black organizations.


Ah yes, the old, “righteous indignation” defense of a Confederate general, who, as Slate noted, led troops in the 1864 Fort Pillow massacre—a horrific slaughtering of black Union soldiers. Describing the “first KKK” as any different from its next iterations is also an astounding bit of revisionist history. Since its founding, the KKK has never not been associated with white supremacy and an opposition to civil rights.

Talley, who conveniently forgot to mention that he’s married to a White House lawyer in a Senate committee questionnaire that specifically asked about conflicts of interest, is one of four people since 1989 whom the American Bar Association unanimously deemed “not qualified” to serve as a federal judge. Talley’s inexperience, specifically that he has never tried a case, didn’t seem to bother Republicans who sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee: his nomination was advanced along party lines last week.


If confirmed by the Senate, Talley will hold a lifetime appointment on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.