White House withdraws two federal district court nominees

Two of President Trump’s nominees for federal district judgeships have been withdrawn.  Brett Talley, a nominee for the bench in Alabama, and Jeff Mateer, nominated for the bench in Texas, will not advance.

Talley drew particular criticism over the last several months for his personal conflicts and clear lack of qualifications. The 36-year-old Justice Department attorney has only practiced law for three years and has never tried a case — a monumental shortcoming for a trial court nominee. Talley also failed to disclose that he was married to a White House lawyer, or that he had previously made controversial statements about death row inmates. (Of less direct importance, but no less head-scratching, was the additional revelation that Talley is a “ghost hunter.”) The ABA rated him “unqualified.”

Separately, Mateer came under fire for his statements on homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and transgender children.

The withdrawals come on the heels of Senator Chuck Grassley’s recommendation that the White House “reconsider” both nominations.

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