US: Lawyer who has never brought a case appointed to federal bench

An inexperienced 36-year-old lawyer has been approved for appointment as a federal judge in Alabama following his nomination by US President Donald Trump, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Brett J. Talley has only practised law for three years and has never brought a case before a US court, opponents have pointed out.

Mr Talley has degrees from University of Alabama and Harvard Law School, and clerked for two federal judges. He was the protégé of Republican Senator Luther Strange, the former Alabama state attorney general who became US attorney general in February.

He is known as a supporter of the pro-gun National Rifle Association (NRA), a former speechwriter for failed US presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and he has blogged about “Hillary Rotten Clinton”.

The Senate judiciary committee has backed Mr Talley’s lifetime appointment to the federal bench by 11-9. The nominations now move to the Senate floor, where a similar result is assured by party whips.

Kristine Lucius, executive VP of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said: “He’s practised law for less than three years and never argued a motion, let alone brought a case. This is the least amount of experience I’ve seen in a judicial nominee.”

Trump has nominated 59 people to the federal courts since taking office in January, sparking accusations of him “packing the courts”.