President Trump says he intends to nominate Eugene Scalia, son of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, as his next Secretary of Labor.
The presidential announcement by tweet came on the eve of the departure of the current Labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, who resigned last week over criticism of his handling of a plea deal as a federal prosecutor of a sex crime case involving Jeffrey Epstein.
Scalia, who worked in the Labor Dept. during the first two years of the George W. Bush administration, was recommended to Trump by a number of members of Congress, including Sen. Tom Cotton.
The 55-year-old Scalia, Trump said, “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.”
Also truth be told this being the East, Scalia graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, also Trump’s alma mater.
Acosta’s deputy, Patrick Pizzella, will serve as acting Labor secretary pending Scalia’s confirmation. Pizzella is now the fourth acting secretary in the Trump cabinet.
Like his father, who died unexpectedly in 2016, Scalia is a member of the Federalist Society, which has attained significant influence in the Trump administration, especially on judicial nominations such as Trump’s two Supreme Court justices.
As a member of the Washington law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Scalia has a long record of successful legal representation of large corporate clients such as Walmart and Boeing. In 2001, President Bush nominated Scalia as Labor’s solicitor, but he was blocked by a Democratic Senate.
Bush later used a recess appointment to place him there where Scalia built a reputation as a union opponent and free market conservative.
Scalia could face an antagonistic confirmation hearing. As expected, Democrats expressed disappointment at his pick. Chuck Schumer said, “President Trump has again chosen someone who has proven to put corporate interests over those of worker rights.”
Hopefully, Scalia has never employed an undocumented maid.