Brett Talley is a lawyer and, oddly enough, a writer of Lovecraftian horror novels. He graduated from law school in 2007. He has, at most, a few years of experience as a litigator. And he spent three years of his post-law school career in political jobs, such as a rapid response position on Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and two years as a speechwriter for Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH).
Nevertheless, President Donald Trump nominated this young, inexperienced lawyer to be a federal district judge in Alabama.
While Talley does not have the experience one would normally look for in a trial judge, he does have one thing going for him — a record of allegiance to Trump and his campaign messages.
Like Trump, Talley has frequently used Twitter to express controversial political views and to convey strong opinions. Though his Twitter account is no longer public, the website Archive.org captured several dozen of the Trump judicial nominee’s old tweets that paint a picture of a Trump partisan with dubious views of due process. These tweets were originally pointed out to ThinkProgress in an opposition research email from the liberal group People for the American Way and then independently verified by ThinkProgress.
Among other things, Talley sent at least one tweet suggesting that former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton should be in jail.
Talley also appeared to defend Trump’s use of a six-pointed star in a graphic criticizing Clinton — a graphic that was widely denounced as anti-Semitic — by claiming that the DNC were the real anti-Semites.
In addition to touting Trump’s messages on Twitter, Talley also published a piece for CNN urging “Never Trump” Republicans to support their party’s nominee. “Those who argue that another Clinton White House is somehow preferable to four years of Trump are blind to the consequences,” Talley wrote, “for the nation, for the party and for the conservative movement.”
Talley isn’t an anomaly. Trump has so far named particularly extreme nominees to the federal bench, including a growing list of far-right anti-LGBTQ activists — as well as Neil Gorsuch, who aligned himself with the Supreme Court’s most conservative flank immediately after moving into his new office in Washington, D.C.