President Donald Trump tweeted that he plans to nominate Eugene Scalia, son of late Assistant Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, for the position of Secretary of the Department of Labor (DOL).
According to news reports, in a meeting yesterday, Trump offered Scalia the job and he accepted. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta resigned last week following controversy over his role in financier Jeffrey Epstein’s plea deal for crimes committed when Acosta was a U.S. attorney in Florida.
Scalia is currently a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. However, he was previously solicitor of the DOL, a job he filled by a recess appointment used by then President George W. Bush because he was not confirmed by the Senate, which at the time was controlled by Democrats.
He may likely face confirmation issues again. According to news reports, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said, “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.”
If confirmed as DOL Secretary, the fate of the department’s fiduciary rule is in question. The DOL has said a new rule could be issued by the end of the year. However, Scalia was part of the team that defended the Chamber of Commerce in its lawsuit against the previous DOL fiduciary rule. That rule was vacated by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.American Securities Association (ASA) CEO Chris Iacovella released the following statement: “Eugene Scalia is a highly accomplished attorney with a great deal of experience navigating the intersection of Washington, American businesses, and the impact of regulation on consumers and Main Street investors. He is a fantastic pick to serve as the next Labor Secretary. ASA looks forward to working with him to ensure the DOL harmonizes its rule with the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest Rule. We urge the Senate to move his confirmation process forward as swiftly as possible.”