President Trump on Thursday night announced that he’s nominating attorney Gene Scalia to replace Alex Acosta as secretary of labor. He is the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
This move, which top Republicans privately supported, was a visible manifestation of the close personal bond Trump has with the Scalia family in recent years.
Acosta stepped down as head of the Labor Department last Friday over his past involvement in a plea deal for financier Jeffrey Epstein, who is now facing federal sex trafficking charges.
Scalia, 55, has been a partner in the Washington office of the international law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He’s expected to face opposition from Democrats in his Senate confirmation hearings, in part because he routinely has represented major corporations in key cases involving workers’ rights.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., condemned Scalia in a statement late Thursday.
“President Trump is missing an opportunity to nominate a fighter for workers, like a union member, to be America’s next Labor Secretary,” Schumer said. “Instead, President Trump has again chosen someone who has proven to put corporate interests over those of worker rights. Workers and union members who believed candidate Trump when he campaigned as pro-worker should feel betrayed.”
Republicans praised Scalia’s nomination. Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton called Scalia an “outstanding lawyer who has vigorously defended the Constitution over a long career in government and private practice.”
He added, “I’m confident he’ll be a champion for working Americans against red tape and burdensome regulation as Labor Secretary.”
In announcing Scalia’s selection, Trump sounded notes of praise not only for the nominee, but also for his own administration.
“I am pleased to announce that it is my intention to nominate Gene Scalia as the new Secretary of Labor,” Trump wrote in a tweet late Thursday. “Gene has led a life of great success in the legal and labor field and is highly respected not only as a lawyer, but as a lawyer with great experience working with labor and everyone else.”
Trump added: “He will be a great member of an Administration that has done more in the first 2 ½ years than perhaps any Administration in history!”
Credit: Fox News