White House Decides It's Not a Good Idea to Nominate a Wildly Unqualified Ghost Hunting Lawyer After All

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Brett Talley is a lawyer who has never tried a case. Brett Talley defended the “first KKK” on fan forums. Brett Talley is a ghost hunter. Brett Talley was unanimously deemed “not qualified” by the American Bar Association. Brett Talley did not disclose that he was married to a White House lawyer. Yet the Trump administration nominated Brett Talley for a lifetime federal judicial appointment anyway, with the Senate Judiciary Committee voting to advance his nomination on a 11-to-9 party line last month.


But on Wednesday, NPR reported they had a change of heart, with an administration official confirming the appointment “will not be moving forward.” Talley’s nomination generated a lot of heat for Trump as a particularly egregious example of the administration’s willingness to stack its ranks with officials openly hostile or wildly inexperienced for their jobs. The news comes after Republican Senator Chuck Grassley earlier this week called for the White House not to move forward with Talley and another nominee, Jeff Mateer, who’s best known for calling trans kids proof that “Satan’s plan” is afoot.

Given his lack of qualifications, Talley should have never been nominated in the first place. Nor is he the only judicial nominee who should be pulled. Trump has been putting up judges at a lightning pace to fill the federal lower courts as fast as possible—the effects of which we’ll be feeling for many years to come. That the White House flipped its position on Talley is a solely political move; not some new moral standard.

Clio Chang is a staff writer at Splinter.