WH Will Not Move Forward With Judicial Nominee Deemed ‘Not Qualified’

Brett J. Talley, a lawyer unanimously rated “not qualified” by the American Bar Association, will not move forward in the nomination process for a lifetime federal district judgeship, TPM confirmed on Wednesday.

TPM also confirmed that Talley offered to withdraw his nomination.

Talley has no trial experience and was only the fourth nominee since 1989 to be rated “not qualified” by the ABA. President Donald Trump nevertheless nominated Talley in September as his pick for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.

The New York Times reported in November that Talley did not disclose his marriage to Ann Donaldson, top White House lawyer Don McGahn’s chief of staff, during his nomination process before the Senate.

BuzzFeed News reported, also in November, that Talley also failed to disclose thousands of posts he appeared to have written for TideFans.com, a University of Alabama sports fan website, on political subjects including immigration and gun control.

Talley appeared to go by the username “BamainBoston,” and identified himself in 2014 in a post titled “Washington Post Did A Feature On Me” with a link to a report that dubbed him “the ghost hunter and horror novelist who writes Sen. Rob Portman’s speeches.” (Talley did disclose to the Senate that he was part of The Tuscaloosa Paranormal Research Group in 2009–10.)

In one post about gun control in December 2012, titled “Aftermath of Connecticut Shooting” and written three days after a gunman killed 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Talley said, “My solution would be to stop being a society of pansies and man up.”

In another post on the same fan website, surfaced by Slate, Talley appeared to defend “the first KKK” which he incorrectly claimed “was entirely different than the KKK of the early 19th Century.”